As more and more states are legalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes, enforcing DUI laws becomes more and more complex. While there are ways to measure alcohol intoxication during a traffic stop using a Breathalyzer, testing for marijuana requires blood, urine or hair samples. But, the complication arises from the fact the results only show whether or not someone has THC in their system, not if he or she is currently under the influence of marijuana.
Challenges with Pot
As this challenge continues to befuddle law enforcement officials across the country, scientists and entrepreneurs are in the race to find a better way to test drivers for marijuana. Several companies have been feverishly raising money to fund this research. Most recently, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh debuted their take on the weed breath machine.
Just like a Breathalyzer used to test for alcohol intoxication, the weed Breathalyzer has a mouthpiece you blow into and a digital display to show the results. Breathing into it sends air flowing over nanotubes that help identify THC molecules, even among other substances in the sample. The problem police have had so far is that pot-smoking drivers have managed to pass field sobriety tests.
The University of Pittsburgh prototype was tested under laboratory conditions. How it might work in the real world remains to be seen. The one loophole with these pot Breathalyzers is that they might only pick up THC that has been smoked, which means that edibles might create a loophole.
The other question that needs to be sorted out is what the standard for THC intoxication would be. Under California law, anyone who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent is said to have violated the state’s DUI law. But there is no such standard or limit yet for marijuana.
Justice for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver who was operating under the influence of marijuana, please remember that you have rights. While weed may be legal in California, it certainly is illegal under the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. In addition to facing criminal charges, at-fault motorists can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. An experienced California DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help victims and families that have lost loved ones seek and obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, damages and losses.