Weed breathalyzer could soon test if you're high behind the wheel

Hound Labs in California still developing, perfecting device

Photo provided by Hound Labs
Photo provided by Hound Labs

Product developers in California are working to perfect a breathalyzer for marijuana that’s able to determine if you’ve smoked pot before getting behind the wheel.

The device is hypersensitive, and can detect whether someone has smoked in the past two to three hours, the company says.

As it stands, police don’t seem to have a consistent, accurate way to test a driver for marijuana, meaning, determine whether he or she is currently high.

Some departments use field sobriety tests to try to determine if a driver is stoned, but those are more so intended to test for alcohol impairment. Other current blood, breath and urine tests might not be reliable, as many can only determine if a driver was high at some point that day or week, instead of at that very moment, according to USA Today.

For example, blood concentrations of marijuana's active ingredient, THC, can stay persistently high in chronic pot smokers, published reports note.

It seems that law enforcement is becoming more and more aware of the issue. In five Michigan counties where a pilot program rolled out, police were able to carry handheld devices to test for the presence of drugs in drivers' saliva, with results back in about five minutes.

But nothing like that has been introduced statewide or nationwide.

And as the laws pertaining to marijuana use continue to loosen across the U.S., it might make you wonder: What are police doing to keep stoned drivers off the roads? Shouldn’t there be one uniform way to test for marijuana?


About the Author: