Diegnan Bill To Examine Usage & Reliability of Drug Field Tests Advances

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. that would require the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences to collect data for six months to assess the use and reliability of drug field tests and to issue a report on evidence used in prosecuting certain drug-related crimes was approved today by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.

 

The bill, S-2930, would provide for the collection of data on specimens collected by law enforcement in New Jersey.  The term “specimen” is defined in the bill as a substance or sample of a substance which may contain a controlled dangerous substance or a controlled substance analog that is taken by a law enforcement officer investigating a potential violation of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. 

 

“The accuracy and reliability of drug field tests has been brought into question, and the implications of any errors could mean the difference between an arrest and a release,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This bill will allow us to examine whether or not this is an issue in New Jersey, and possibly curb any unnecessary arrests.”

Sign Up for E-News

 

Under current law, specimens taken by law enforcement during the investigation of certain drug-related crimes are sent to one of four New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences laboratories in the State. In some cases, presumptive drug field tests are performed by officers, and a case is disposed of following a presumptive drug field test without undergoing confirmatory testing in an Office of Forensic Sciences Laboratory.

 

Various news reports across the country have suggested that reliance solely on drug field testing could lead to wrongful incarceration. For example, some field tests use a single tube of a chemical called cobalt thiocyanate, which turns blue when exposed to cocaine. But cobalt thiocyanate also turns blue when exposed to more than 80 other compounds, including methadone, certain acne medications and several common household cleaners.

 

Data concerning the reliability of drug field tests in New Jersey which would confirm or deny this claim is currently unavailable.

 

“Invalid results could mean individuals are incarcerated when they needn’t be, and this not only will have a devastating long-term impact on their lives but also on our economy and on taxpayers,” added Senator Diegnan.

 

Under the bill, the report concerning the usage and reliability of drug field tests in New Jersey must be issued within 90 days after the six-month data collection period ends.

 

The bill was approved by a vote of 4-0-1. It next heads to the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee for consideration. 

Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Fri, February 23

Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains

Raffle for 4 tickets to "Frozen" on Broadway

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Rabbi Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child

February 19, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Aryeh Goodman, 35, the rabbi from the  East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was one of thirty men charged with having sex with the teenager over a four-week period.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, Goodman ...

New Brunswick Prisoner Reentry Site to Open Tuesday

February 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who has made prisoner reentry programs his major focus, will be on hand Tuesday to open a new site on Livingston Avenue. 

McGreevey runs the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals. The opening is set for 11 a.m. at  57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J.

All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Breakfast Supporting Edison Boy Scouts Troop 12

February 21, 2018

Edison Boy Scouts Troop 12 is hosting its annual All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Breakfast at the Edison Elks Lodge #2487 (375 Old Post Road, Edison) from 8 AM to 12 PM on Sunday, March 4th. Tickets are $7 and are available at the Elks door Sunday morning. You can also purchase tickets online for $8 or make a donation at www.troop12edison.org/p/store.html.

The event — featuring pancakes, sausage, ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...