Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka confirmed that they will participate in the Minnesota drugged driving pilot program.  He says their office will be receiving one of the oral fluid test machines as part of the test pilot project.  Soyka describes it as an instrument similar to the preliminary breath test they do on the side of the road for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Soyka says the instrument was rolled out first to drug recognition officers in the state including the 4 that Stearns County has in their agency.

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Soyka says the results are not admissible in court this year but if deemed successful they will seek approval for 2025.  He says Stearns County has a DUI officer funded by the state and Soyka would expect that officer to be trained first before the rest of the officers.

The 4 Stearns County Drug recognition experts can be on call if they have a DUI stop.  Soyka says they try and have at least one available for each night shift.  He describes the drug recognition officers as patrol officers who have an interest in traffic safety and traffic enforcement.

If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka it is available below.

 

 

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