The new marijuana breathalyzer is undergoing testing in the field in San Diego. So far, two people have been arrested through the device, but some defense attorneys are skeptical of the science behind the device. NBC Los Angeles has the story.
The new device is called the Drager 5000. Through the use of a mouth swab, the device can test for marijuana and several other drugs in under 10 minutes. But questions surround the device. How well will its standards hold up in court? Does the science hold? That remains to be seen.
One person volunteered to be tested by police who testified she was around a group of people smoking pot but didn’t use it herself. She tested positive for marijuana through the device. No arrest was made in that incident.
Police, for now, are backing up the evidence from the device by taking a blood draw at the station. But as the device is used and the evidence is challenged, devices like these may become as common as alcohol breathalyzers.
The key question that legislators will have to answer is where the legal chemical limits are for intoxication by cannabis. That is going to require a raft of new scientific studies. Until that happens, it will be up to lawyers to persuade the court on how much is too much.
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