'Clean Urine' Bill Passes
Jan 28, 8:04 am ET
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Something smells funny in the Arkansas drug-testing business, and a state legislator thinks it might be the urine.
Jay Martin, a freshman state representative, won passage through the Arkansas House of Representatives last week of his measure that will make it illegal to sell or use urine to falsify a drug or alcohol screening test.
Martin said he is confident the first bill he ever sponsored will become state law.
Martin said he was urged to introduce the "clean urine" bill by a local drug-testing company that complained of widespread trafficking in urine untainted by drugs. Many of the sales in the market are made over the Internet, he said.
Maximum penalties for violating the law will be up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
"As a freshman I'm going to get razzed anyway, but this bill just gave them added reason," Martin said on Monday of his fellow representatives.
Indeed they did. When Martin took to the Arkansas House floor on Friday to explain his bill, he was greeted by a chorus of hiss-like noises from many of the other 99 members.
As the first vote was taken, scores of members hit the "P" button -- signifying present -- rather than the buttons to vote "yes" or "no."
When the guffaws subsided, a second vote was taken and the legislative body passed the clean urine bill with only one dissenting vote, which came from a lawmaker who complained the bill was an invasion of privacy.
Martin said South Carolina and other states had recently enacted similar legislation. He added that enforcement of the laws to thwart the use of drug-free urine has been difficult.
One typical Internet-based company offering clean urine boasts that its samples are free of illegal drugs, alcohol and nicotine and pre-screened for medical conditions.
A deluxe kit that includes four ounces (119 ml) of urine, an odor-proof transport system, chemical heating pads and gloves sells for $49.95.
The bill is headed to the Arkansas senate, where action is expected soon.