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Breath-testing for marijuana impairment is controversial

| Mar 20, 2020 | Drunk Driving

Not all cases of impaired driving have to do with alcohol. In some cases, drugs are the culprit. One of these, marijuana, is causing a stir more than some of the others. With the increase in people who are using marijuana and its derivatives, the rate of drivers who are using it and then driving is probably increasing.

The increased usage poses a problem for law enforcement agencies because there isn’t a widely accepted test to check for the presence of marijuana. A primary reason for this is that marijuana can remain in a person’s system for longer than the impairing properties.

There is a breath test that can provide some answers for law enforcement officers. It measures the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the component in marijuana that alters the mind. THC is detectable in a person’s system for around a month, which is much longer than any impairment lasts. Because of this, the timing of the test has a huge impact on the test results.

Another challenge is that there isn’t a legal limit for THC in Maryland. This can make it harder for officers to determine how to handle a situation involving THC-impaired driving. They will have to rely heavily on other factors, such as field sobriety tests.

Defendants in these impaired driving cases need to work on their strategy carefully. There are many variables that can impact the options available. Making sure you consider the circumstances of the traffic stop and thinking about everything you can remember might be beneficial. Just don’t wait until the last minute or you might have to make rushed decisions.