State mulls ban on fake urine samples - KMOV.com

State mulls ban on fake urine samples

 

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri lawmaker has filed legislation to outlaw special devices designed to fake urine samples and fool drug tests.

Rep. Jeff Roorda, a former police officer, said such gadgets have become common and are causing problems for law officers checking on parolees and employers trying to ensure their workers are not using drugs.

"There's no good reason to have one -- maybe for Halloween or bar tricks," said Roorda, D-Barnhart.

Various products -- many sold online -- promise to help people pass drug screenings with chemicals that mask the presence of drugs in their bodies, shampoos that scrub hair follicles of evidence and rigs that pour heated samples of clean urine into jars.

Roorda's legislation would make it a felony for Missourians to use devices that produce false urine, hair, perspiration, saliva, blood or fingernail samples for drug or alcohol tests. Selling, making or possessing a cheat kit would be a misdemeanor, whether the defendant had used it or not. The bill has been submitted for the 2010 session that starts Jan. 6.

One of the best known test-fooling products is the Whizzinator, which gained notoriety after former Minnesota Vikings football player Onterrio Smith in 2005 was found with one in his bag at the Minneapolis airport along with several vials of dried urine. Actor Tom Sizemore was accused in California of violating his probation in 2005 by using the Whizzinator to falsify a drug test.

The Whizzinator is a rig that connects a male prosthetic -- attached to an undergarment -- to a container holding dehydrated, clean urine. Water is added to the pouch, which has a heating pad attached to warm the liquid to body temperature.

In November, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, upheld forgery charges against a central Missouri man accused of using a Whizzinator to pass a drug test in 2008. Robert Ryan Smothers acknowledged using the device, according to court documents.

A state public defender representing Smothers argued that Missouri's forgery laws didn't apply to the case. Attorney Margaret Johnston said Smothers was not accused of claiming the urine he submitted had a value that it really did not.

A three-judge panel of the Kansas City-based appellate court overturned a Randolph County trial court and concluded that the state's existing forgery laws can be applied to cases involving fake urine.

"A false urine sample qualifies as an inauthentic item because it purports to have a genuineness, ownership, or authorship that it does not possess," Judge Karen King Mitchell wrote in the majority opinion. The ruling means local prosecutors can pursue their case.

Several states are considering barring devices designed to fool drug screenings. Arkansas earlier this year expanded its ban on selling human urine to cover the artificial stuff too. Last year, the makers of the original Whizzinator and a similar product for women pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for inhibiting drug tests and selling drug paraphernalia, although copycat products can still be found Friday for sale on the Internet.

One, which bills itself as the Next Generation Whizzinator, promises an improved design that makes the device more authentic by reducing noise. That rig is offered in three colors for about $250.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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