UPDATE: Impaired driving prevention program moves forward

Michigan

December marks National Impaired Driving Prevention month.

Responsibility.org is hosting an event honoring Michigan State officials and victims’ advocates for their efforts to help Michigan become one of the first states to implement bold highway safety reforms.

The event will provide an overview and progress report on Michigan’s state-wide-drug-impaired driving initiative.

People attending will have the opportunity to see a demonstration of SoToxa, the easy to administer saliva swab test police across the state are using to determine whether a driver has recently consumed marijuana or other drugs.

For lawmakers and law enforcement, December is a special month.

It’s devoted to trying to stop people from driving drunk or drugged.

It takes on a special significance this year, now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan.

“My parents were just the greatest” said Brian Swift, Victims advocate.

Brian Swift will never forget the day his world was turned upside down.

“You can’t believe that you’re getting a phone call telling you that your dad has been killed and your mom is being rushed to Marquette General Hospital in the U.P.” Swift added.

In 2013, Brian lost his parents when they were killed by a driver on drugs.

“A logging truck driven by this guy went through a red light, was driving on a suspended license and he was driving high.” Swift added.

They were 73-years-old and just retired.

“They were the kind of people who would do anything. They were active in charity, they would give you their shirt off their back.” Swift added.

Brian says he never wants anyone to get the phone call he did that night.

“They took them from us, its devastating.” Swift added.

So he’s doing everything he can to make a change.

“We created a law its called swift check, that is to do oral fluid testing.” Swift added.

Michigan State Police are using SoToxa, it’s a portable device which uses saliva swab.

It detects if a driver recently used drugs or marijuana.

Brian hopes this device will save a family from going through what his family has gone through.

“It affects every single person and it can happen and it will happen if we are not proactive.” Swift added.

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