PROBATION VIOLATION FOR INABILITY TO URINATE FOR DRUG TESTING

On February 26, 2013 KD, a 35 year old carpenter, was arrested for Distributing Cocaine and for Being Present where Heroin was found. On April 24, 2013 KD went to Lawrence District Court and the Cocaine distribution charge against him was continued without a finding for 18 months. The heroin charge was dismissed. KD was ordered to participate in a drug treatment program, to remain drug and alcohol free, and to be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Shortly after the court date KD left the drug treatment program and for three months was among the missing. He did not report to probation; he was not being drug screened and he did not participate in the drug treatment program. He learned that there was a warrant outstanding for him and he turned himself into the court. The probation officer wanted to drug test him that day at Court and KD said that he was physically unable to urinate in the presence of another person. KD then went to the bathroom unattended and came back with a cigarette package full of urine that he claimed was his own. He got sent to Middleton Jail for a week. During the entire week at the jail he was unable to urinate in the presence of another person.

KD’s wife contacted Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin went to the jail and met with KD and carefully documented KD’s complaint about being unable to urinate in the presence of another person. After 1 week in the jail it was clear to everyone that he was clean yet he still could not urinate in the presence of another person.

Attorney Lewin researched this issue and learned that Paruresis is a recognized medical syndrome of people who are unable to urinate in the presence of another person. The Probation Department was insisting that he submit to random drug/alcohol screening through the Essex County Office of Community Corrections (OCC). OCC will only do urine screening. Attorney Lewin researched other screening methods and proposed saliva screening. Saliva screening drug/alcohol kits are available for about $10.00 per kit (1 test per kit). KD ordered several kits and brought one into Probation. It took the probation officer about 30 seconds to read the instructions. A saliva test was administered to KD and he tested negative for alcohol and drugs. The probation officer liked the test; it was quick and easy and did not involve handling urine.

On October 1, 2013 KD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court. The case got resolved by amending KD’s probation to provide for the drug/alcohol screening to be done in the probation office using the saliva testing kits. This is the first time the saliva testing kits have been used at the courthouse for random drug/alcohol testing. At Lewin & Lewin we are always on the cutting edge looking for creative solutions to criminal cases.