Some jurisdictions in California began swab testing drivers for marijuana use to detect motorists who were “driving stoned.” Now, there is a breathalyzer capable of detecting recent marijuana use that’s undergoing field testing.
A company based in Oakland has developed a breathalyzer that can detect marijuana to distribute among police stations in America. The intention is to catch drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence of pot. California drivers are the first to be tested.
Developed by Hound Labs, the breathalyzer was used in a recent field test. Drivers who were pulled over were asked to voluntarily blow into the newly invented device.
Two drivers who took part in the testing admitted to having smoked weed 30 minutes before driving. Both delivered a positive reading on the handheld device.
Drivers who admitted to smoking two to three hours before driving also delivered a positive result.
The drivers who tested positive were not allowed to continue driving. However, because this was part of a field test, they were not arrested.
The University of California’s chemistry department had a hand in helping to develop the device. It is capable of detecting THC on the breath of people who have consumed edible pot products as well as alcohol.
Once the product’s results have been validated, Hound Labs intends to roll out the device nationwide. Until then, police will have to continue relying on saliva, urine and blood tests. Unfortunately, these methods can show a positive result days after the drug has been consumed.
Some members of law enforcement are already getting behind the device. Lompoc Police Chief Patrick Walsh says that over the next six months, he plans on issuing the device to at least six of his departments.
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