One of the difficulties of charging a driver with driving under the influence of marijuana is the difficulty of detecting the drug easily. Without a blood test, it is hard to know exactly how impaired a smoker is when they are pulled over for suspicion of DUI.
One Kal Malhi, the President of Cannabix Technologies and retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has stepped up to solve the issue of marijuana detection by creating a prototype marijuana breathalyzer. Loosening marijuana laws, Malhi argues, means that law enforcement need new technologies such as this breathalyzer to combat a rise in drugged driving.
Would a Marijuana Breathalyzer Really Reduce the Rate of Drugged Driving?
Some have met the news of a marijuana breathalyzer with resistance. Because marijuana metabolites stay in the blood for such a long time, having quick access to a marijuana breathalyzer could implicate drivers who are not impaired for past drug use. Because there are so many zero tolerance and per se drugged driving laws in the United States, the breathalyzer could do more harm than good and pin criminal charges on unimpaired drivers.
Picture, for example, a cancer patient who uses marijuana for its medicinal properties. Suppose he or she misses a stop sign, or makes an illegal turn and gets pulled over for it. If the police were to utilize a marijuana breathalyzer in a zero tolerance or per se state, that patient could end up in jail, despite having committed no crimes under state law. Time will tell if the idea will pan out.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, it is important to contact a skilled DUI defense attorney.
DUI Matters – Denver Drugged Driving Lawyers
Did You Know?: Young adults aged 18 to 25 are more likely to drive after taking drugs than other age groups. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)