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Baking soda tests positive for cocaine in stop

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2016 | Drug Charges

Illinois residents may be interested in a case that took place at an Arkansas military base in May 2016. Two truck drivers were making a delivery when they were pulled in for a routine inspection at the gate. During the inspection, officers found a white powdery substance that they suspected was cocaine. A field test kit that the officers used returned repeated positive results.

The two drivers spent two months in jail, lost their truck and were fired. After several months, lab testing revealed that the substance that had been found by the officers was baking soda. One of the truck drivers said that she buys the substance in bulk because it is useful for many things. After they were cleared, it took several months for them to get their truck back from impound.

The case demonstrates the problem with field test kits. Many police officers use them to get quick results when they are used on suspicious substances. The test kits provide false positives for other drugs as well. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Lab Systems said that 21 percent of the substances that field-tested positive for methamphetamine later tested negative in the lab.

Facing charges of drug possession or trafficking can be very frightening. It may be especially so when the defendant is falsely accused of doing so. As a result, people who are in this type of situation may find it advisable to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney when attempting to combat the allegations, as the penalties if a conviction is obtained can be quite stringent.