Currently, it is very difficult to make a DUI charge stick when the driver is under the influence of marijuana. This is because unlike alcohol, marijuana is difficult to detect. There is no marijuana breathalyzer test that accurately shows the amount of marijuana in the driver’s system. This leaves holes in the case. A good DUI lawyer can expose these holes.
Difficulties with Testing
Furthermore, THC can stay in a person’s system for weeks after initially introduced to the body. This makes it difficult for police to determine when the driver took the drug. It also makes it difficult to determine if the drug affected their driving. Currently, police officers look for signals like the smell of marijuana, coordination, redness of eyes, speech. This helps them determine if a person is driving high.
But again, this evidence is not concrete and can easily be refuted in court. For example, did the driver in question have red eyes because they were high, or because they have allergies? In recognition of the lack of effective marijuana tests, many scientists are trying to create an accurate marijuana test. Or, they are trying to create a marijuana breathalyzer that is equivalent to the alcohol breathalyzer. In theory, the test can happen once the police pull over the driver.
Current Drugged Driving Tests
We still don’t have an immediate, accurate drugged driving test. Scientists currently work on a saliva test meant to detect if a driver has recently used marijuana. While this is a step forward, such a test is still far from reliable. Perfecting such a test will take years. Another breathalyzer-like test is being created in Sweden. The test goes by SensAbues. It can identify substances such as marijuana and cocaine on a person’s breath. While this test can identify drug use within the last 24 hours, the flaw with SensAbues is that it is not an instant test. The results of the test must happen in a laboratory.
Police officers, judges, and scientists recognize that accurately identifying drugged drivers is a problem. They also recognize that this affects the safety of our roads. Drivers under the influence of marijuana and other drugs are oftentimes not brought to justice. This is due to the lack of accurate, immediate drug tests. While scientists are working on a marijuana breathalyzer, there is currently no such test that produces concrete results. For the sake of safety, scientists continue the search for a marijuana breathalyzer.