THC Breathalyzer to Help Police Combat Drugged Drivers
Now that marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes in more than 50-percent of the United States, local law enforcement agencies need a way to determine if someone is “too stoned to drive”. Several companies, including HoundLabs and CANNABIX Technologies Inc. , has a THC Breathalyzer in the works, in fact, it’s in the testing phases in some cities. Some law enforcement agencies tested the Breathalyzer late in 2015 and early 2016.
How it Works
For three to four hours after using marijuana, it can be detected in your breath. If a police officer believes that you are under the influence of marijuana, these devices will tell them if you’ve consumed marijuana within the detection period. Roadside saliva swab tests are also being developed to determine if someone is “drugged driving” or not.
When you blow into the mouthpiece, a reading will show how many nanograms of marijuana are still active in your body. Based upon the legal intoxication level determined by each individual state, someone could fail the breath test. Failure of the breath tests could lead to field sobriety testing, an arrest and the impounding of your vehicle.
Tip: Wait at least an hour after smoking marijuana and at least 3 hours after using edibles to operate a vehicle safely.
What to Expect
Once the products are available for service use, distributed to local law enforcement agencies and stated determine marijuana intoxication levels, police officers will have these available for roadside tests. Early 2017 may be the earliest that police departments have these Breathalyzer devices available to them for regular use. The last of the testing phases has not been reported as complete yet.
Now, in some states, saliva swab tests and Breathalyzer tests may take place to determine intoxication levels more accurately. It is up to the states to decide how to determine if someone is “too stoned to drive”.
THC Breathalyzer Controversy
So, why is there controversy surrounding the THC Breathalyzer? Well, science really. Every person reacts to marijuana differently. Everyone feels effects differently. Everyone functions differently after using marijuana and everyone’s tolerance varies. It is nearly impossible to determine a clear “legal limit” for marijuana simply due to these simple statements.
However, if someone has spent all day long consuming marijuana or just went through a quarter ounce with a couple buddies, the chances of them being busted for drugged driving are pretty good. Police will look for drivers taking too long at stoplights and stop signs. They’ll also look for slower speeds as stoned drivers do tend to think they’re going a lot faster than they are. Those that are impeding traffic or seem “confused on the road” will likely be pulled over.
The fewer times that police officers have to use the THC Breathalyzer, the better it is for the marijuana industry. Being responsible and not driving while you’re completely baked is kind of common sense, but it could help end national prohibition if drugged driving numbers decrease. Be responsible – partake alone or with friends and sit tight for a while before getting behind the wheel.