Advancements in technology may allow for a portable drug test within the next decade. Researchers from the University of Surrey have figured out how to detect cocaine usage by analyzing the chemical traces found in a person’s fingerprint. The goal is to create a drug test that law enforcement officers can administer in the field instead of needing samples of blood, urine or saliva. This could eventually bring changes and new challenges when one faces drug charges in Minnesota.
The New Test
Researchers studied the fingerprints of patients at a drug treatment program using mass spectrometry techniques, which look at individual molecules, and can now identify traces of chemicals that form in the body when metabolizing cocaine. These tests can reportedly identify when one’s fingers have been in contact with cocaine and if it entered the body.
This testing procedure is intended to be simpler and non-invasive, and researchers say the results cannot be faked. Old testing methods can also identify when one has touched cocaine, but using bodily fluids for testing has several drawbacks as the samples can be switched and issues of privacy, storage, and potential biological hazards can arise.
While the current methods of testing can be accurate, false positives and mistakes do occur. When suspected of a drug related crime, a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer may wish to verify the accuracy of any tests taken and ensure that your rights were not violated when testing occurred.
This new drug testing technique could aid law enforcement agencies in the future, but making the procedure portable and widely available is only part of the process. Read the next blog post for more about this topic, and contact us when in need of legal counsel so that we can offer information tailored to your specific needs.