Interviewer: Oh, wow. So, TASC, they do blood test or urine?
Mike: They usually do urine tests, urine analysis, UAs.
Mike: What’s going to happen is their going to give you a color and they’re going to do random selection on colors and if your color comes up their going to call you and tell you have to come in for tests. So it’s random, it’s done that way on purpose so people cannot track the system and if a person’s color is called, they have to go to TASC as soon as possible to get tested.
Interviewer: How long do they have to go to TASC once they are given or told their color. Do they call into a hotline ahead to find out their color?
Mike: I think they get a phone call and once they get a phone call they have to report by the end of business day to the TASC company to drop their UA.
Interviewer: So if you’re on TASC for weed, for instance, what happens if you want to drink alcohol? Drinking is legal if you’re over 21, but are you allowed to drink while you’re on TASC?
Mike: You’re not, while you’re in the program, you’re not supposed to drink any alcohol whatsoever. There is a type of test they can do. There’s new urine testing that can see whether or not you’ve had alcohol in the past for a long period of time. So, I tell all my claims not to drink while they’re in the TASC program.
Interviewer: What happens if you’re in TASC for marijuana and then you show up positive for cocaine, a different substance?
Mike: You’re probably going to get kicked out of the program and then they’re going to reinstate prosecution on you on the marijuana charge.
Interviewer: So if you’re in there for marijuana, but you test positive for cocaine, it’s no worse for you, but only as bad as testing positive for marijuana.
Mike: The way they look at it is you’re not supposed to test positive for anything.
Interviewer: I was just wondering if it was worse because it’s a more dangerous drug.
Mike: No, not necessarily.
Interviewer: I’ve heard that at various smoke shops or other places they have stuff to help you to beat your drug test. For example, liquids you can drink to cleanse your system and I’ve even heard of a fake penis you can pee through, all kinds of crazy stuff like that. Does TASC know about that stuff, have you seen the stuff? Do you think any of it works?
Mike: The drug testing agencies are aware of these things that smoke shops or head shops sell for testing. Whether or not they work I don’t know. I mean, I think most of those things, those substances that people use to try to pasts tests or to get around tests, usually what they end up doing is diluting the sample and if you have a diluted sample where they can’t get a reading either way, they can sometimes consider that a failure because they figure people don’t normally have diluted samples. You only have a diluted sample if you’re trying to game the system, for lack of a better term. So, yeah, I mean, can those things work? Maybe, but the safer method is just to not do any illegal drugs while you’re on one of the programs.
Interviewer: I just figured that you probably run into cases where people try to game the system using drinks, fake urine, or fake penises to pee through. Is there a separate charge they face if they use those things?
Mike: Well they really don’t have any evidence to file a separate charge unless you were to be questioned and found with a substance on you. But just in your body it shows that you’ve done it in the past. So, another charge isn’t likely, but what the bigger result is their going to end up kicked out of the program which means the state’s going to reinstate the felony charges against you.
Interviewer: Any cases when they send other people in to take tests for them. Do the testing people take your ID, do they watch you pee, like, anything like that?
Mike: Yes, they do. I’ve actually been to TASC before because when I was a prosecutor at the county and I was hired by them I had to actually go take a drug test before I was hired.
Mike: Yeah, so, I’ve been to the TASC company in Maricopa County in Mesa, Arizona. You enter the equivalent of a private bathroom, but that private bathroom has a window. So there is a representative that has the ability to watch you use the restroom. They’re very diligent about making sure that it’s you and not somebody else. You have to bring ID, the whole thing.
Interviewer: Well, that makes sense. How much is it? Does it cost you anything to take these tests?
Mike: Well, if you’re arrested for felony possession of drugs, each program does cost money to a person who participates. The costs can be fairly high. That’s why I tell all clients to do as good as you can to try to get the court program cut short to save them money. The longer the program, the more expensive it’s going to be. The price is also changed based on what type of drug you were arrested for. The more sever the drug, the more expensive and the program’s longer.
Interviewer: Heroin and someone using that probably indicates the more severe drug problem then just marijuana and that’s why they watch longer and everything’s more expensive.
Mike: And the eligibility for TASC is not just that you haven’t had a drug offense in the past, the main internal policies the county attorney has. One, they want to make sure you don’t have any violent priors. If you have any violent prior history at all, they will not offer you the TASC program. If your case involves a weapon, they will not offer you the TASC program. So, a good defense lawyer is going to see these things ahead of time and if one of those eligibility problems arises, a good defense lawyer is going to everything he can to still try to get you into the TASC program.