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Which Drugs Are “Invisible” To DWI Tests In Bergen County?


While drug and alcohol testing is quite advanced, some drugs are virtually undetectable to numerous tests – including tests used by police officers during impaired driving traffic stops in New Jersey. The Drug Enforcement Agency and numerous other groups recognize the limitations of their own tests, but there is not much they can do about it. New drugs continue to be developed with each passing day, and testing technology always remains a few steps behind.


Various law enforcement agencies and drug testing labs freely admit that it is very difficult to detect a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Common examples of these drugs include Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. While these may be legal with valid prescriptions, they also find their way into users through street dealers. On the street, these pills are often called “benzos,” “k-pin,” or “tranks.”

The most common drug test for benzodiazepines is designed to detect oxazepam. Since “benzos” are not metabolized as oxazepam, they are virtually invisible to many drug tests.

Certain Opioids 

In addition, certain opioids may not appear on drug tests – especially synthetic variants. This is because most drug tests are designed to detect opioids metabolized to morphine. The newer variants are more likely to metabolize to other chemicals, and therefore “false negative results” are common.

Examples include tramadol, oxycodone, and perhaps most notably, fentanyl. This is another example of how drug testing technology is often a few steps behind the illicit drug scene – as these synthetic drugs have been around for quite some time. Meanwhile, many drug tests still only detect “last-generation” opioids such as heroin or morphine. Somewhat interestingly, however, the oldest opioid variants also tend to slip past many drug tests – including poppy seeds.

Bath Salts 

Drug testing labs have also discovered that synthetic cannabinoids (also known as “bath salts”) may be impossible to detect. In some cases, the only viable way to detect these drugs is to conduct a blood test – something that many police officers are unable or unqualified to carry out at a typical traffic stop.

Cocaine Immediate After Ingestion 

There is also some evidence that cocaine is virtually impossible to detect via most tests in the first few hours after use. In other words, an impaired driver might pass a drug test despite snorting cocaine moments before the crash. However, only some labs report difficulties in this regard – and many can still detect the presence of cocaine after recent use.

Find a Qualified, Experienced DWI Defense Attorney in Bergen County 

If you were charged with a DWI and you took a drug that was undetectable by most tests, you may want to speak with a qualified, experienced New York City DWI attorney for further legal advice. If your test results are completely unreliable, you may find it easier to pursue positive results after your alleged impaired driving incident. Book your consultation with Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law today to discuss your legal options in more detail.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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