Based on studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, marijuana impairment is not as severe of an impediment to driving as alcohol impairment, but this does not mean that driving under the influence of marijuanais safe or legal. One of the big questions that stems from the legalization of recreational marijuana is how to prevent people from driving high.
If high drivers cannot easily be identified from afar, standard field sobriety tests are not built for marijuana and a standard breath test cannot detect the low levels of THC in a smoker’s blood, how exactly is law enforcement supposed to catch drugged drivers, unless they are smoking a joint when the officer walks up to the window?
A company called Hound Labs thinks it has the answer – a breathalyzer built not just for alcohol detection, but marijuana detection as well.
Why a Marijuana Breathalyzer Will Not Increase Public Safety
The laws that we have regarding the legal amount of THC in the blood for driving are not based on any reliable baseline denoting physical impairment. If you are driving with .05 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, under the law you are driving under the influence. The issue with this is that the limit of .05 is incredibly arbitrary – while tons of science exists to establish a .08 BAC as an impairing level of alcohol in the blood, only preliminary studies have examined the question in relation to marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana stays in your system for far longer than alcohol or many harder drugs. You can even register a .05 if you haven’t smoked in a week. So, if a marijuana breathalyzer is to become reality, a serious look needs to be taken at the marijuana DUI laws – otherwise, some completely innocent smokers are going to be facing heavy penalties for DUI.
The drugged driving lawyers at Thomas Law Firm work as a team to ensure that your DUI case is handled fairly.