Category Archives: Urine Drug Testing

Urine Drug Testing: The Risk of False Positives – What Judges Need to Know

immunoassaysJudges rely on urine drug screening (UDS) tests in a myriad of criminal and civil settings. In criminal cases, defendants are often ordered by the court not to use or possess alcohol or mood altering chemicals as a condition of their pretrial release or probation. In family court cases, parents are often ordered to undergo UDS as part of a court-ordered child custody evaluation. The results of the UDS can have tremendous adverse consequences for defendants (incarceration or loss of privileges) or for divorcing parents (loss of custody or parenting time). The potential for false-positive urine drug screen (UDS) results presents a due process dilemma for the presiding judge. When and under what circumstances can a judge feel comfortable relying on the results of a urine drug screening test without a secondary confirmation test? This training update will address the following six topics:

  1. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FALSE POSITIVE RESULTS
  2. WHAT COMMON SUBSTANCES CAN CAUSE FALSE POSITIVES?
  3. MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY RECOMMENDATIONS
  4. WHAT SHOULD JUDGES DO?
  5. SPECIAL CONCERN – CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS
  6. URBAN MYTH – FALSE POSITIVES BASED ON 2nd-HAND SMOKE

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PendletonUpdate14-20

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