U.S.Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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DOT HS 809 192

October 5, 2000


Field Test of
On-Site Drug Detection Devices


Final Report



Printed copies of this report are available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161.


The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation and thanks to the participating traffic division officers and staff of the Nassau County, NY Police Department and the Houston, TX Police Department. This research would not have been possible without them. We would also like to express our thanks to Biosite Diagnostics Corporation, American Bio Medica Corporation, Princeton BioMeditech Corporation and Roche Diagnostics Corporation for their complete cooperation, as well as for providing valuable information and training materials about their devices.

This publication is distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the interest of information exchange. The opinions, findings and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and nor necessarily those of the Department of Transportation or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The United States Government assumes no liability for its content or use thereof. If trade or manufacturer's names or products are mentioned, it is because they are considered essential to the object of the publication and should not be construed as an endorsement. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
DOT HS 809-192
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Field Test of On-Site Drug Detection Devices

5. Report Date
October 2000
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Rebekah K. Hersch, Dennis J. Crouch, and Royer F. Cook, Ph.D.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

ISA Associates
201 N. Union St., Suite 330
Alexandria, VA 22314

Center for Human Toxicology
University of Utah
20 South 2030 East, Rm. 490
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report
September 1997 - October 2000
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

James F. Frank served as the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR).

16. Abstract

This NHTSA-sponsored study reports the findings of a field evaluation of five on-site drug screening devices used by law enforcement to screen for illicit drugs among drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs. In two major U.S. jurisdictions (Nassau County, New York and Houston, Texas), five of the leading on-site devices were field tested on 800 drivers apprehended for suspicion of DUI. Each urine specimen collected from an arrestee was tested with all five on-site devices; drug positive specimens and a sample of negatives were laboratory confirmed by Mass Spectrometry. Police officers rated the devices on five dimensions. Field test results included: (1) the number of drug positives detected by each device across the five major drugs of abuse; (2) number of dicrepancies among the five on-site devices and between the devices and the confirmations; and (3) mean officer ratings for each device. Implications for the uses of on-site devices by law enforcement for assessing illicit drug use by drivers is discussed.

17. Key Words

drugs and driving, law enforcement, on-site drug testing, DUI enforcement, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, PCP

18. Distribution Statement

This document is available to the public
from the National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized.

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