Marijuana legalization is making lawmakers and law enforcement officials look for new ways to detect and prevent driving under the influence of marijuana and other substances. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also called drugged driving or marijuana DUI.
In California, it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. One or more of the following is considered driving under the influence in the state:
- A blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 percent or higher.
- Driving abilities impaired by drugs, alcohol or a combination of both.
The problem with standardized blood and breath tests is that it is primarily used for testing the presence of alcohol. Using standardized tests to detect the presence of drugs creates a different set of problems. Although the tests are used to detect controlled substances like marijuana in your bloodstream, these methods are not as established as the best method for testing alcohol detection.
The Marijuana Breathalyzer
It is no surprise that law enforcement agencies were actively searching for a new device to detect the presence of marijuana in your bloodstream. It looks like they may have found it. The new device is called Cannabix. It a developed by an individual who used to work as a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman.
It is similar to the Breathalyzer device approved for use by California law enforcement. It requires a simple breath sample. The driver blows into a tube for a first breath sample. He or she then blows into a second tube to retest. According to the inventors, it seeks to verify whether a driver has consumed marijuana within two hours of taking the samples.
Opponents View Potential Problems with Cannabix
Cannabix seems appealing to many law enforcement officials. It’s similar to the Breathalyzer. It detects marijuana. Thus, they are eager to implement the device. However, there are immediate problems that could arise. For instance, the device can only tell whether an individual has consumed marijuana within the two-hour time period. What does the consumption of marijuana within a two-hour timeframe have to do with the amount of THC in a driver’s system? What does it have to do with his or her ability to drive?
There is a startling point many defense lawyers see as a potential problem with the marijuana Breathalyzer. The device does not have the ability to detect whether a driver is actually under the influence of marijuana.
The marijuana Breathalyzer test has not been approved for sale in California or anywhere in the country. However, the device’s inventor hopes to have it on the North American market within the next year and a half. The inventor also believes that the device will be used in the workplace to detect whether employees have consumed marijuana.
Whether the Cannabix device makes it to the U.S. is still unclear. At this point, what is also unclear is the position of traffic safety and law enforcement officials to this type of marijuana Breathalyzer.
For more information and understanding on DUI charges in California, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. We have the resources, knowledge and experience to offer you skillful and effective DUI defense representation. We also know what it takes to aggressively fight a marijuana DUI charge.