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Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Report: Flawed Roadside Drug Tests Result In More Than 30,000 Wrongful Arrest Each Year


According to a report from Reason Magazine, a new study finds that approximately 30,000 people are wrongfully arrested because of flawed roadside drug tests in the United States each year. It is an alarming finding. Within this blog post, our Orlando drug crimes defense attorney highlights the key things to know about the study and explains the most important things you should know about your rights if you pulled over on suspicion of drugged driving.

Study: Bad Roadside Drug Tests Lead to Many Unfair Arrests 

On January 9th, 2024, the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice released the findings of a study of the reliability of roadside drug tests. Their study reveals a troubling issue with roadside drug tests that are commonly used by police in the United States, including in Florida. These tests, found to be unreliable in too many cases, are estimated to be a factor in around 30,000 wrongful arrests each year. The study is an in-depth look at how law enforcement uses presumptive drug field test kits. The tests work by showing color reactions to indicate drugs.

However, there is a problem. These kits also detect similar substances also found in many legal items. Alarmingly, this has led to numerous cases where people were wrongly arrested for having things like bird poop, donut glaze, or sand mistaken for drugs. system. These field tests, often resulting in ‘false positive’ errors, were not designed to conclusively prove the presence of drugs. However, they are frequently used as key evidence in criminal matters. Unfortunately, in some cases, plea bargains may even be reached based on unreliable evidence. 

Know Your Rights: Drugged Driving Charges 

Your rights matter. Here are three essential things that you need to know if arrested and charged with any drugged driving or other drug-related offense in Florida:

  • You Have the Right to Remain Silent: The U.S. Constitution protects your right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions from law enforcement.
  • You Have the Right to an Attorney: Do not take on police or prosecutors alone. Consult with a top-tier Orlando defense lawyer right away.
  • You Have the Right to Challenge a Flawed Test: Roadside drug tests can be flawed. Remember, you always have the right to challenge a test in court. 

The Bottom Line: Do not assume that you are out of options if arrested on suspicion of drugged driving. Never plead guilty without consulting with a top-tier Orlando criminal defense attorney. 

Contact a Top Orlando Criminal Defense Law Firm Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando drug crimes defense attorney is prepared to fight aggressively to protect the rights of our clients. If you or your family member was stopped and arrested for drugged driving, please do not hesitate to contact us today to set up a fully private initial case review. With a law office in Orlando, we defend drug charges throughout all of Central Florida.



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