Your days tooling around town, hotboxing the car may be numbered. While driving impaired under the influence of marijuana has always been illegal, law enforcement and policy makers have had yet to arrive at a standard measurement to prove impairment. A new marijuana breathalyzer that immediately detects THC levels could bring them one step closer to regulating marijuana-related impairment on the roads.
During an initial field test of the breathalyzer, California police officers teamed up with Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs, which developed the device, to pull over erratic drivers and ask them to voluntarily blow into the breathalyzer. Purely for testing purposes, the drivers didn’t face arrest unless they were also drunk (one of whom was). A handful of drivers even admitted to smoking weed within a half hour or several hours of driving. And those who tested positive for THC were given safe rides home.
Unlike breathalyzers that may simply detect the presence of THC, the Hound Labs device detects the levels of THC in parts per trillion. “That gives us a very precise amount of THC in the breath. That number, that measured level will ultimately be correlated to driving impairment at roadside,” Lynn said. “Any legislation related to impairment needs to reflect true data.”