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Cops not looking at your drug history as much after new Utah law

Cops not looking at  your drugs history as much after new Utah law
Cops not looking at your drugs history as much after new Utah law
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(KUTV) A new Utah legislative audit says that police agencies use the state's prescription drug database significantly less thanks to a new law implemented earlier this year.

The law was advanced by Sen. Todd Weiler after he heard about cases of alleged police misuse of the data base. The Controlled Substance Database, or CSD, maintained by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, keeps records of almost every prescription for controlled substances dispensed in the state.

According to DOPL the CSD "is a resource that assists prescribing practitioners and pharmacists in providing efficient care for their patients' and customers' usage of controlled substantive."

In addition, "The data is disseminated to authorized individuals and used to identify potential cases of drug over-utilization, misuse and over-prescription of controlled substances through the state."

Weiler suspected that police were perhaps misusing the database because law enforcement agencies are not required to get a warrant before accessing the information contained in the database. Weiler's law now requires police to get a warrant. The Legislative audit called: A Review of the Use of the Controlled Substance Database by Law Enforcement, discovered that since the law was implemented in May 2015, the number of times officers used the database dropped by 95 percent.

From May 2014 to May 2015, police accessed the data 2581 times, but after the law was passed police looked at the database, only 71 times from May of 2015 to November 2015.

"I think what we are seeing is that the police agencies did not have proper procedure and policies in place and now that they have to go to a judge and justify it, they're not doing it as often," said Weiler.

The audit also randomly selected 40 of those 2800 cases and determined that more than half of the officers using the database did so questionably.

"They had serious questions about 24 of them; that's sixty percent of the searches, " said Weiler. "On a random basis they're saying they're questionable searches and that's what we were afraid of the whole time."

Weiler says he will watch the affects the law has on police agencies over the next 18 months, but he says, he thinks it is doing it's job.

"I'm not convinced that we've gone too far, this is people's private personal medical information so I think there should be a few speed bumps along the way."

If you'd like to read the entire audit, you can do so here.

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