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The Drugs: Technology, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section of the National Safety Council Alcohol, Drugs and Impairment Division (NSC ADID) Committee proposed a survey of practices in forensic toxicology testing for impaired driving cases to update the 2017 recommendations. The goal of the project was to provide toxicology laboratories with a list of commonly encountered analytes and appropriate screening and confirmation thresholds in DUID cases and motor vehicle fatalities. Standardization of analytical testing addresses concerns highlighted in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report. Additionally, having a standardized approach will improve the quality of statistics reported for DUID and motor vehicle fatality cases.
Many different types of laboratories perform drug testing in support of law enforcement driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) and Drug Recognition and Evaluation (DRE) programs. These include private commercial clinical and foreign laboratories, government (state, local and municipal) laboratories, and hospital and clinical laboratories. They may have different focuses, resources, and levels of expertise with respect to the DUI issues, as well as varying understandings of the appropriate scope of testing, sensitivity, and value of different specimen types. There has historically been no standard or agreed upon guidelines for performing this testing, and no accreditation program or body that defines the appropriate scope or sensitivity for such tests. The reality in these labs is that resources, agency policy, and local conditions largely determine what testing is done on a case and even which cases qualify for testing, and these policies can be highly variable.
This solicitation targeted toxicology laboratories performing DUID testing and analysis of specimens submitted in motor vehicle fatalities to attain the most comprehensive review of drug testing practices in order to provide the most accurate and appropriate recommendations for toxicological testing.
- First, a survey was distributed to toxicology laboratories throughout the US and Canada to collect information regarding each laboratory’s testing practices in suspected drug impaired driving cases, specifically on their drug sampling matrices, scope of testing, cutoff concentrations for each drug analyzed, and whether they are in compliance with the 2017 guidelines and recommendations.
- Second, the data was compiled and analyzed.
- Third, the results of the survey will be reviewed and discussed in a consensus panel via a virtual meeting, where toxicology experts will aid in revising the 2017 guidelines and recommendations.
- Fourth, the new guidelines and recommendations will be peer reviewed and published to encourage adoption throughout toxicology laboratories. The detailed survey report data will be made available both in online format and through presentation at professional meetings.
- March – April 2020: Send survey to laboratories. Follow up emails to target laboratories for completion of survey or clarifications.
- July 2020: Finalize survey report and distribute to committee. Distribute detailed report of survey’s results online.
- July – August 2020: Convene consensus panel committee meeting to review and update laboratory recommendations/guidelines and issue best practices recommendations for ensuring convergence and uniformity in testing.
- December 2020: Complete write-up of recommendations document. Complete deliverables, including recommendations report to the National Safety Council and an article for publication in Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
PERSONNEL AND CONTACT INFORMATION
- Principle Investigator – Barry K. Logan, PhD, F-ABFT, CFSRE
- Co-Principle Investigator – Amanda L.A. Mohr, MSFS, CFSRE
- Study Coordinator – Amanda L. D’Orazio, MS, NMS Labs
- Aya Chan-Hosokawa, MS, NMS Labs
- Curt Harper, PhD, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences
- Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine
- Sarah Kerrigan, PhD, Department of Forensic Science, Sam Houston State University
- Laura J. Liddicoat, BS, Center for Forensic Science Research & Education
- Jennifer F. Limoges, MS, New York State Police, Forensic Investigation Center
- Amy Miles, BS, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene
- Colleen E. Scarneo, MS, New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of State Police Forensic Laboratory
- Karen S. Scott, PhD, Arcadia University
PRIOR SURVEYS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
2012 Survey Documents are available. Follow the links below to download PDF’s: