Certain drug testing protocols may be changing soon in Tampa. FOX 13 reports that Hillborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder and his fellow judges want the FDLE to test suspected drugs immediately in felony cases. The change would mean that they would no longer have to wait for it to be requested by the Hillborough State Attorneys Office or the public defender.
This is important in light of what happened to a military officer last year; a field drug test showed that the pills in his pocket were meth. He was arrested on July 6, but the FDLE did not receive the pills until October 16. Judge Holder said “We have got to move quicker to resolve these issues whether it’s a controlled substance or it’s not a controlled substance period,” according to FOX 13. The drug charges were dropped on December 4, after FDLE sent results to State Attorney’s Office showing the pills were not a controlled substance. The ordeal cost the military officer a total of five months to resolve. ” That just absolutely unacceptable” Judge Holder said.
A FOX 13 investigation showed that field drug tests used by law enforcement can be inaccurate; samples of coffee, over the counter medication and even air tested positive as illegal drugs under the test kits, scientists showed. “Our laws whether its U.S. Constitution or Florida Constitution ensure each and every one of us fundamental rights and those are being denied because of the testing that’s been done on the road or at the jail that’s just not valid,” said Holder.