New portable drug detection device. San Diego police have a new way to confirm the presence of marijuana and other drugs in impaired drivers — a mouth-swab device that is already being used by police departments in more than a dozen states and is expected to become more popular with the legalization of marijuana.

It is the first technology of its kind to be used in San Diego County. The two Dräger DrugTest 5000 machines, which cost about $6,000 each, were donated by the San Diego Police Foundation last week.

They are expected to debut Friday night at the St. Patrick’s Day DUI checkpoint downtown.

The machine, about the size of a mini bookshelf stereo system, tests for the presence of seven drugs — marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine, methadone and benzodiazepines. The device does not read the level of intoxication; drivers would have to take a blood test for that information.

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