West Virginia teenagers will be required to pass not one, but three separate drug tests before they receive their full driver’s license. That is, if House Bill 2528 is approved.
Del. Joe Ellington (R-Mercer) introduced the new legislation in the West Virginia House of Delegates on Feb. 19. His bill is the latest in a string of proposals to expand government-mandated drug testing in the state, according to WSAZ News Channel 3.
“So the goal was: they really want to get that driver’s license — their incentive would be to not use anything and maybe not bow down to peer pressure to succumb to drug use,” Ellington said.
Ellington’s proposal states that teens should pass “a drug test designed to detect illegal consumption of controlled substances” before getting a learner’s permit, an intermediate license, and a full license. He said it would be a good move to deter kids from using drugs in the first place.
However, not everyone sees the bill as a long-term solution to West Virginia’s drug problems.
Del. Justin Marcum (D-Mingo) believes teens who want to get their driver’s license may only choose to stay clean for a few days to pass a drug test and “get right back on drugs” once their driving permit is approved.
And some teenagers agree with Marcum.
“Drug testing before a driving test isn’t really going to change the fact that kids do it in the first place,” said Ali Wymer, 14. “They can get it out of their systems before they go and take the test, but after that it’s not going to stop them from doing it.”