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A saliva test is being developed to detect driving on marijuana

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2020 | Criminal Defense, DWI

In New Jersey, police officers are able to identify drivers who are intoxicated through the use of a breath test. It is a
more challenging to detect motorists driving under the influence of cannabis. Officers may be able to visually spot these drivers but have little way of determining this at the scene of an accident.

Driving while under the influence of marijuana is not necessarily safer than driving while drunk. In both cases, the driver is slower to react than they otherwise would be when they are unimpaired. Now, because states are changing their laws to legalize cannabis, more people are getting behind the wheel when they are under the influence.

Officers do not have the technology to make an immediate arrest of a suspected driver under the influence of marijuana. Cannabis can be detected through a blood test, but most officers cannot administer this on the spot during a traffic stop. Thus, there is a need for more immediate testing. There is a saliva testing system in the works that promises to do exactly that. Officers would be able to cite and arrest motorists for driving after they have ingested cannabis. It will take some time for the testing system to be fully developed. However, there is no legal definition yet of what constitutes impaired when it comes to cannabis.

Prosecutors may have difficulty proving that a driver was under the influence of cannabis at the time of the accident. A criminal defense attorney may work to challenge the evidence against their client or point out the unreliability of testing results. It might be possible to get the charges dismissed if a prosecutor is unable to prove that a person was driving under the influence.