LOCAL NEWS

Utah company hopes saliva-based tests will improve efficiency in DUI cases

Dec 30, 2023, 10:30 PM | Updated: Jan 1, 2024, 6:14 am

PROVO — As law enforcement planned to keep a close eye on Utah roads for intoxicated drivers over the holiday weekend, a Utah-based company planned to keep a close eye on officers in multiple jurisdictions to see if its saliva-based tests would help boost effectiveness and efficiency.

“New Year’s weekend is obviously one of the biggest DUI weekends of the year,” said Nathan Keele, founder of Keele Medical.  “A lot of police departments are going to set up checkpoints where they will be screening a lot more cars than usual.”

Keele said seven different agencies in Utah and Salt Lake counties will be trying out his company’s EZ Saliva-II drug test over the weekend.

“The first chamber will show you an immediate screen result within the first five to 10,” Keele said to KSL TV as he demonstrated the device Friday. “Then after that, the second chamber pushes the saliva down into this little vial that will then be sent off to the lab so the lab can confirm the result.”

Making officers’ work easier

The test had the potential to make officers’ work more efficient.

“They’ll actually drive you over to a hospital or a police department where they will then do a blood draw test or a urine test and so that process of driving over to do a blood test is something that takes hours,” he said.

He said additional departments were showing interest in the tests, which had origins in the COVID-19 pandemic. He said his company hopes to roll out additional applications for the saliva-based test in the future.

For now, he hoped the tests would help make a difference on the roads.

“This is something I’m passionate about literally more because officers will be able to save lives and make the streets safer for everybody around,” Keele said.

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Utah company hopes saliva-based tests will improve efficiency in DUI cases