Turns out field drug test kits used by law enforcement as just us unreliable as instant screens used for employment drug test are prone to false positives.
In lab experiments, the test kits showed a high rate of false positives. The kits are unregulated, yet they’re used by law enforcement in the Bay Area and all over the country tomake drug arrests. And we’ve shown you how innocent people are arrested, booked and charged based on the faulty results. Top scientists say all field drug tests are unreliable and should never be used to arrest anyone, let alone prosecute anyone.
As usual the state attorneys office tried downplay the whole situation,
Hillsborough County files charges against people after a drug arrest without confirming the results with the state lab. But other counties do it differently.
Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe said, “We don’t file formal charges without a lab report.”
In fact, McCabe says, his county has its own crime lab which does DNA and drug analysis. They don’t rely on FDLE, which we know is months behind.
“I don’t like to charge somebody only to have to, days later, drop the charges,” McCabe continued. “I prefer to know in advance whether I have a case or not.”
Sarasota State Attorney Ed Brodsky agrees. His office has its own lab chemist too.
“We won’t bring any formal charges until we send it to our laboratory chemist for testing,” he insisted.
That’s all nice, but they forget the point that a arrest and charge based on a false positive from one of these field test kits can do a lot of damage to ones life. They say they’ll drop charges later if the lab results come back clean, but by then job loss, family issues, and financial hardship have taken effect.