When it comes to identifying drugs in the field, law enforcement is always one step behind. With each new method or device, there are problems. The most recent drug detection device, called TruNarc, is actually created by three local Massachusetts companies and is beginning to be put in use across the state.
According to the Boston Business Journal, Altitude Inc., Ahura, and Thermo Fisher Scientific have all been involved in the design and product development of the new law enforcement tool. So far, a dozen of the small machines are being used throughout the state, and many more across the country.
The makers say their machine eliminates many potential mistakes by shortening the process of identifying drugs.
“The goal for this is to have confirmatory testing in the field,” said Alex Tee of Altitude Inc. “It is still very nascent and new in the industry and has yet to cross that chasm for use in the field. The technology is still being vetted and felt out, but once it does gain that broad acceptance, it will create this paradigm shift.”
Usually, if a police officer believes he has drugs, whether it be cocaine or a new synthetic, it takes a serious of steps to identify the drug. With TruNarc, the makers claim it can all be done in one single test. It is said to be able to “analyze key drugs of abuse as well as cutting agents and synthetic cathinones (bath salts).”
Rarely are drugs like cocaine found in their pure form. Molly, though said to be a pure form of ecstasy, is often “cut” with other chemical compounds as well. The makers of TruNarc say cutting agents and synthetic additions won’t trip their machine up.
Scientific Accuracy for Evidence in Court?
Still, like all other drug-testing gadgets and processes, this one is no doubt vulnerable to error. The scientific accuracy if this device is not established, and certainly not at the level of evidence admissible in court in a criminal case. Similar to a portable breath test police may use at the side of the road in a DUI arrest, these devices likely do not create evidence that is admissable in court.
As far as it’s use, the makers say updating their machines is simple and as soon as a new drug hits the street, they can update all of the detectors with a simple entry. The fact that it can scan through glass or plastic reduces the risk of contamination. But, again, it is not fail proof.
When you are accused of possessing cocaine or another drug like it, the evidence against you is what may ultimately seal your fate. The collection process used by law enforcement is often just as important to your case as the drugs themselves.
If you are accused of drug possession, contact me today to discuss your legal options and how I can help.