Michigan Passes Laws Aimed At Meth Making And Drugged Driving

By John Lavitt 01/02/15

State authorities are cracking down on home meth labs and drugged drivers.


In an attempt to crack down on both home meth labs and drugged driving, Michigan lawmakers have passed new statutes to address the state's drug problem. The new laws take aim at meth makers and drugged drivers — criminalizing the purchase of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines with the intention of producing crystal meth, and giving police greater leeway to check suspected drivers who may be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Given Michigan's increasing meth problem, the laws are an attempt to install a first-line of defense against repeat offenders. Under the new legislation, pharmacists would act as an early warning signal for law enforcement. State police are required to add meth offenders to a national database, so pharmacists would be alerted when customers previously convicted of meth-related crimes attempt to purchase the drug's ingredients. Pharmacists currently are alerted when customers try to surpass quantity limits. The law also prohibits meth makers from asking another person to buy the ingredients needed to cook the drug. 

A House Fiscal Agency analysis has shown that the production of crystal meth remains on the rise, especially in the western part of the state. 

The second piece of legislation addresses drugged driving. The law allows police officers to conduct a preliminary roadside analysis for drugs and other intoxicants in addition to alcohol. A conditional bond is to be placed on motorists arrested for drugged driving. In addition, the drivers' information is to be entered into a law enforcement database. The question is whether both the pharmacist database and the law enforcement database will be connected to provide a greater range of information to everyone involved.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.