Police may have a new way to test THC impaired drivers

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana; it is what is responsible for getting people high. To date, there is still no reliable THC analog for the famed BAC Breathalyzer. Scientists are not even sure what threshold of THC constitutes “impaired driving.” But California police officers are looking to answer some of those questions as they participate in a field test of the latest iteration of the THC Breathalyzer.

The latest company to join the fray, Hound Labs, has developed the most sophisticated THC Breathalyzer to date. Their device can measure THC concentrations on the breath to the trillionth part. The unparalleled sensitivity enables the researchers to gather much-needed data to establish threshold THC levels, similar to 0.08 percent BAC for alcohol.

The field test paired the devices with several California police officers who pulled over erratic drivers. The officers then requested if the driver would consent to the THC Breathalyzer. If a driver tested positive for THC, they were given a safe ride home. No drivers were charged with OUI’s, except one, who was drinking when he was pulled over.

If you were accused of operating a vehicle under the influence, then you may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. OUI offenses are not the end of your professional life, but they are serious, depending on the circumstances of the arrest. A lawyer can go over the arrest with you to ensure that you have a realistic assessment of the prosecutor’s plan before you engage in plea bargaining. You don’t want to go into negotiations unprepared; a lawyer can help.

Source: Vice News, “Cops Test New Weed Breathalyzer on California Drivers,” Madison Margolin, September 15, 2016