Feasibility assessment of chemical testing for drug impairment : final summary report
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Feasibility assessment of chemical testing for drug impairment : final summary report

  • Published Date:

    1985-09-27

  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.22 MB]


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  • TRIS Online Accession Number:
    489752
  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Highway Safety ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors ;
  • Abstract:
    An evaluation was made of existing data on concentrations of marijuana, secobarbital, diazepam, diphenhydramine, and methaqualone in blood, saliva and urine to assess the feasibility of establishing chemical tests for police use in detecting drug-impaired drivers. The study employed pharmacokinetic methods to relate urine and saliva concentrations to blood levels, which were related to measures of behavioral impairment in laboratory tasks. Some preliminary concentrations are suggested to serve as a guide for collecting or testing blood. Data from numerous studies support the proposal that testing for THC metabolites in urine at or above a 100 ng/ml concentration will provide better than a 50% probability of detecting levels of THC in the blood that may be associated with impairment. Saliva offers more promise as a body specimen for a presumptive screen of the other four drugs. Analysis of data on secobarbital suggested saliva concentrations in excess of 500 ng/ml may serve as a possible threshold for predicting impairing levels of the drug in blood. Similarly, a combined concentration of 5 ng/ml of diazepam and its primary metabolite in saliva appeared as a reasonable level. The antihistamine diphenhydramine gives high saliva concentrations following its use, thus a level of 180 ng/ml in saliva is suggested as a threshold for conducting blood analysis. Evaluation of data on methaqualone suggests a threshold level of 150 ng/ml in saliva. This study suggests that it may be possible to narrow down the number of drug possibilities and blood specimens requiring testing by the police to a level that is economically feasible. However, only a marijuana/urine screening procedure is currently available for police use at the stationhouse. /Abstract from report summary page/
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