The random drug testing of state troopers quietly ended in 1998, but it's about to come back. The new director of the state Department of Public Safety, Mike Coppage, says he's re-implementing drug testing as a matter of public confidence and public safety.
Coppage retired as Birmingham's police chief in March and became public safety director in Governor Riley's Cabinet. Coppage says that when he arrived on the job, he found the state department had a good drug testing policy, but wasn't enforcing it.
Random drug testing began in 1991 but was discontinued in 1998 because of budget shortages and other problems. The previous drug testing did not turn up any problems, and no incident prompted its return.
The new system will also check for alcohol use while on the job.