A handheld breathalyzer can test for alcohol and marijuana may be hitting the market soon. Hound Labs, Inc. has been developing a handheld breathalyzer that can test for marijuana. The company stated in a press release that it partnered with several companies to begin manufacturing breathalyzers and anticipates providing commercial versions to charter customers later this year. It will mainly target law enforcement as primary consumers.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
Marijuana is a known to impair the ability to drive safely by affecting one’s coordination, visual functions, and ability to focus. Even in states that have legalized marijuana, motorists are prohibited to drive under the influence. The advent of this breathalyzer will help law enforcement officers detect the impairment of motorists under the influence of marijuana.
Currently, there are few methods available to law enforcement agents to test a driver for driving under the influence of marijuana. Police currently use sobriety tests when determining if someone is driving under influence of alcohol. Blood, saliva, and urine tests are also used to determine intoxication levels in drivers. However, these tests may prove inaccurate if a driver used marijuana or other drugs within the week, but not whether the driver was under the influence when driving.
How It Works
The breathalyzer measures tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Clinical trials show that THC is present in breath for two to three hours after smoking. The breathalyzer is so sensitive that it can measure complex molecules at minute levels. In a clinical study at University of California, San Francisco, researchers verified that the technology was able to detect THC in parts per trillion. The co-director of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory found that THC rapidly moves from the blood into the breath and consistently appears in very low concentrations for two to three hours. The breathalyzer is able to measure low concentrations of molecules, representing a significant breakthrough.
What Critics are Saying
Critics argue that there are no legal guidelines on what levels of THC cause impairment. There is also not enough research or data regarding the levels of THC that cause impairment in drivers. Critics argue that the device’s sensitivity that allows it to measure low levels of THC can also lead to incorrect reading levels of marijuana.
South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John Assist Those Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
If you were charged for driving under the influence for marijuana, do not hesitate to contact the South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John. We will fight for your rights and obtain the justice you deserve. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County. Call us today at 856-428-7797 or contact us online for an initial consultation.