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  • disproving poly with a drug test

    Hi all -

    So I had a polygraph recently. Polygrapher said I was lying about my drug usage, which is a load of bull. From almost the beginning of the test, he told me I had a "reading", and kept repeating that: "lets try this and see if it gets rid of that reading". I can truthfully say I've never used an illegal drug; it's not that I'm a saint, but the smoking aspect of MJ never appealed to me. In this day and age that seems hard for some people to believe, and his insistence from the beginning of the test that I was lying did not help my confidence. Tip to the uninitiated: never start out a polygraph by saying that as an engineer, you're skeptical of the machine's false positive rate.

    All that aside, since I can truly claim "never" on all drugs rather than "a few times", is there any sort of drug test that I can use to back this up? I know hair is good for a couple months, and when I try searching for drug test information online all I get is a load of "beat any drug test guaranteed!" snake oil vendors. There's some amazingly sensitive technology out there that can detect ridiculously small trace amounts of a substance. I know I'm dreaming, but I'm hoping there's some sort of expensive/invasive test I could take to back me up.

    Has anyone ever heard of finding a medical way to challenge a polygraph failure regarding drug use?

  • #2
    theres not a surefire way. You can do hair folicale (spel) test but that only goes back as long as your hair is.

    The fact is the reason poygraphs are not allowed in court is because of the way they are done and the ways they can be manupulated. That said, its not the end all of the application . It can hinder you, or make it harder to get bonded but its part of thesystem you must go through for any type of LE job.
    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
    Oscar Wilde

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    • #3
      ITs a bummer that happened man. You can try and take another test but honestly man if that is the one that you got stummped on, im not sure what else to suggest. When asking the drug related questions, did you get tense/breath differently/think of other things?
      If so, that could def be playing a role on why it came up bad. ASk for a retest and best of wishes

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by alpine View Post
        Hi all -

        So I had a polygraph recently. Polygrapher said I was lying about my drug usage, which is a load of bull. From almost the beginning of the test, he told me I had a "reading", and kept repeating that: "lets try this and see if it gets rid of that reading". I can truthfully say I've never used an illegal drug; it's not that I'm a saint, but the smoking aspect of MJ never appealed to me. In this day and age that seems hard for some people to believe, and his insistence from the beginning of the test that I was lying did not help my confidence. Tip to the uninitiated: never start out a polygraph by saying that as an engineer, you're skeptical of the machine's false positive rate.

        All that aside, since I can truly claim "never" on all drugs rather than "a few times", is there any sort of drug test that I can use to back this up? I know hair is good for a couple months, and when I try searching for drug test information online all I get is a load of "beat any drug test guaranteed!" snake oil vendors. There's some amazingly sensitive technology out there that can detect ridiculously small trace amounts of a substance. I know I'm dreaming, but I'm hoping there's some sort of expensive/invasive test I could take to back me up.

        Has anyone ever heard of finding a medical way to challenge a polygraph failure regarding drug use?
        Reading your post, a couple of things really caught my attention. Your comment to the examiner concerning the accuracy of his instrument, was certain to endear you to him. LOL. The second item that caught me was. "Since I can truly claim "never" on all drugs rather than a "few times". That comes across as rather contradictory, and could at the basis of your problem(s) with this exam. I personally don't know of any test that would invalidate the Polygraph's indications. Even if such a test existed, I'm not certain it would invalidate the results of this exam, or be worth the cost to you in dollars. Often times, if the initial Polygraph Exam indicates problems, or deception, inconclusive results, etc, the applicant is offered the opportunity to take a second exam. If this opportunity is offered to you, I recommend you take it. Provided the answers you gave on your initial exam, are true replies, you should not change or ammend them. I hope things work out for you.

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        • #5
          Ahhhh, Alpine, let me share a story with you.

          About twelve years ago when I was wide eyed and amazed by Police Officers, I thought about applying to my hometown agency. I didn't know how things went, so when they called me in for a poly and asked if i'd ever had one, I cheerfully told them no.

          They took me into a room with a machine that I now know isn't a poly, but lord knows what it was. Could have been an intox for all I knew about it. The man put two wires on me and starts the questioning. Well, I too have never done any sort of illegal drugs...not mary jane...nothing. He said I was lying. I corrected him. We went back and forth for a few minutes with him verbally shoving one way and another...until it ****ed me off. I stood up, told him he was a sorry piece of sh*t, told him I wasn't a liar and promptly stomped out of there. I was irate.

          I learned in the next month that 1) he wasn't a polygrapher, he was a Detective 2) that wasn't a polygraph (as was evident by the real one I had two weeks later) and the agency was using a cheap (but I suppose effective) way to weed out the ones in the beginning. I now understand his verbal judo...I get the body language and placement of the chairs...but then I was a 21 year old girl and this d*ck had just told me I was lying. LOL I withdrew my application needless to say.

          I have worked with that agency numerous times over the years. He's a Commander there now. One day a few years ago, he asked me why I looked so familiar. I told him he did a "polygraph" and then I called him a "sorry piece of sh*t" again, but laughing this time. His eyes grew big and he laughed out loud. Ten years after the fact, I told him again I hadn't been lying. He told me that he knew that and wished I hadn't withdrawn my application.

          I told you that to tell you this...perhaps he was trying to find other answers.

          Regardless, best of luck to you. There's not a test to disprove the poly.
          sigpic

          I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
            Ahhhh, Alpine, let me share a story with you.

            About twelve years ago when I was wide eyed and amazed by Police Officers, I thought about applying to my hometown agency. I didn't know how things went, so when they called me in for a poly and asked if i'd ever had one, I cheerfully told them no.

            They took me into a room with a machine that I now know isn't a poly, but lord knows what it was. Could have been an intox for all I knew about it. The man put two wires on me and starts the questioning. Well, I too have never done any sort of illegal drugs...not mary jane...nothing. He said I was lying. I corrected him. We went back and forth for a few minutes with him verbally shoving one way and another...until it ****ed me off. I stood up, told him he was a sorry piece of sh*t, told him I wasn't a liar and promptly stomped out of there. I was irate.

            I learned in the next month that 1) he wasn't a polygrapher, he was a Detective 2) that wasn't a polygraph (as was evident by the real one I had two weeks later) and the agency was using a cheap (but I suppose effective) way to weed out the ones in the beginning. I now understand his verbal judo...I get the body language and placement of the chairs...but then I was a 21 year old girl and this d*ck had just told me I was lying. LOL I withdrew my application needless to say.

            I have worked with that agency numerous times over the years. He's a Commander there now. One day a few years ago, he asked me why I looked so familiar. I told him he did a "polygraph" and then I called him a "sorry piece of sh*t" again, but laughing this time. His eyes grew big and he laughed out loud. Ten years after the fact, I told him again I hadn't been lying. He told me that he knew that and wished I hadn't withdrawn my application.

            I told you that to tell you this...perhaps he was trying to find other answers.

            Regardless, best of luck to you. There's not a test to disprove the poly.

            Smurfette,

            you are by far one of the best story tellers, here on o.com


            Love to read your post.

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            • #7
              Awwww, thank you! I enjoy writing. My narratives at work are very detailed, but the Command Staff doesn't appreciate the humor in the report. It's very hard given some of my cases (AKA-biscuit maker drama from last year.)
              sigpic

              I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would explain your situation to the recruiter and ask for another poly examiner. I just had one today and my examiner was real laid back and we shot the breeze about "the good ol days" (he was an ex-cop). His question regarding drugs was "have you used illegal drugs in the last 10 years?" and then followed up with "have you been truthful with your answers regarding drug use?".

                I would guess that questioning the legitimacy of his career (by questioning his machine) would make any borderline responses automatically fall on the wrong side. A good lesson learned, to keep your personal thoughts to yourself when you know it's something you have to do to get the job. In this case "go along to get along" is the best advice.
                David Bailey Photography | Bailey Tactical

                sigpic

                "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor satan shudders and says oh hell he's awake!"

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                • #9
                  I don't see why an engineer would fail to recognize the nondisprovability. How can anyone prove that he has NEVER used so-and-so commonly used drug? Only if it's a drug that is always permanently detectable after a single use could a person prove he'd NEVER had it. None of the commonly used drugs is after a single use permanently detectable by some commonly accepted ordinary test. There's no such test that can be done on your body to prove that you NEVER took some commonly used drug.
                  Last edited by Monty Ealerman; 10-24-2008, 08:01 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FJcop
                    telling the examiner that his profession is BS was definitely not the way to start that relationship....
                    LOL atleast he was honest??

                    Did they already tell you u were disqualified? When I did my poly, I had a similiar incident where I kept showing "signs" that I was lying in regards to an espionage related question . I held my ground and kept repeating that I had no affiliations with any groups or have ever betrayed my country etc. He kept saying I was lying and that I was ****ing him off by playing these mind games.

                    I felt so upset that I was being called a liar but I didn't let it show. I kept my cool and kept answering with the truth and said to myself "whatever happens happens". So he yells at me some more and the poly was over. 10 minutes later as he's walking me out he says something like "you did good on the poly, you'll be hearing from us in a few weeks". Well long story short, I passed the poly.

                    Just because it was a hostile situation doesn't necessarily mean you failed.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for your responses all.

                      To start off with, it's not like I walked in there and compared his machine to a Scientology E-Meter. He asked if I was nervous, and I told him I had nothing to hide, but I was nervous about putting my fate entirely in the hands of a machine that is not 100% accurate. Definitely not a wise thing to say, but I'm at least not bonehead stupid.

                      PhilipCal - I don't understand the contradiction. My perhaps wrong understanding is that drug screening only gives a hit or a miss, rather than a dosage. So while you can establish that you haven't used an illegal substance for the period the drug test covers, there's no way to established that you only used it twice instead of 100 times. Since I've never used MJ, if a drug test did exist that went back x years, it could help verify my claim. If I'd only used it a couple times, the same test wouldn't help me, because a positive result wouldn't prove that it was actually 2 times instead of 100.

                      Smurfette - Sounds sort of like the photocopier-as-a-polygraph machine from Homicide and The Wire. I'm surprised they could do that to an applicant with a straight face.

                      Monty - That's effectively what I was asking: is there a test that can detect a single usage? Sounds like most definitely not.

                      I knew going into the test that the examiners sometimes BS you about a failure in order to get you to confess, and for a while I was convinced that's what he was up to. As time went on I became far less sure, and the cold shoulder at the end of the test and on the way out the door sold me. I have to wait up to a month to get the official answer. Telling someone they failed and then coming back a month later to say "just kidding!" . . . well, that's pretty twisted.

                      I will of course request a retest and fight as far as I'm able to, but I was hoping I could get some concrete evidence to back me up.

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                      • #12
                        This is what I worry about for my upcoming Poly. I have nothing to hide.

                        37 y.o. and I have not EVER used any illegal substance, nor have I had an alcoholic drink. I feel the examiner will have a hard time believing it though.
                        Quote of the week: "I was going how fast? And that's a school zone?"

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                        • #13
                          What's with all the hostile Poly Examiners? I've never had this situation. No reason for them to be hostile if they are asking good questions and correctly reading the responses.

                          I'm glad I haven't run into these guys.
                          David Bailey Photography | Bailey Tactical

                          sigpic

                          "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor satan shudders and says oh hell he's awake!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Monty - That's effectively what I was asking: is there a test that can detect a single usage? Sounds like most definitely not.
                            Well, "most definitely not" may be an exaggeration, but "almost certainly not" probably isn't.

                            For example, we can't dissect and use microscopy and assays and other tests on a hippocampus of a live human to determine no prior cannabinoids for a PO job qualification test, and even if we could, the results would be inconclusive.

                            If you really aren't lying, and if you convince me of that, and if you promise to not unjustly or inappropriately give out the method, I'll tell you how to get past a polygraph test.

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                            • #15
                              Alpine, I wouldn't worry too much about it, not every dept uses polygraph machines. There's even a federal agency that doesn't use them.

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