Breathalyzer For Pot May Be Heading To USA

Keeping the roads safe is an on-going battle. We know that ignition interlock devices are reducing drinking and driving for repeat offenders by up to 67%, and police have implemented different programs to crack down on drinking drivers including roadside sobriety tests using a breathalyzer. But with marijuana being legalized in some states and trending toward legalization in others, driving after smoking cannabis has posed a whole other problem.

To combat the growing issue of driving after smoking pot, millions of drivers may be facing a breathalyzer test for cannabis. It won’t work like the usual breathalyzer test, where you blow into the device and it tests your blood alcohol level. The breathalyzer test for pot will use saliva from the inside of the offender’s mouth to test for pot.

Although this type of test hasn’t hit the market yet, it’s being tested in different parts of Europe with zero tolerance drug laws. Parts of the United States also have zero tolerance drug laws, with at least 14 states ready, willing, and able to lock up an offender if they are sober from alcohol but have cannabis in their system.

A breathalyzer for pot will change the way the police arrest suspects in states with zero tolerance. Take California for example – it is illegal to drive high on any type of drug in the state, and if the arresting office suspects an offender of being high they will ask for a skills test. They could also handcuff the offender and take them in for a urine or blood test.

Traffic crashes are still the number one cause of death for people in the United States, with over 34,000 fatalities occurring in 2012. Studies are showing that between 4 to 14 percent of drivers who were involved in traffic fatalities had the chemical from pot, THC, in their system. With a breathalyzer for pot on the horizon, law enforcement and law makers are hopeful they can work to reduce those traffic fatalities due to driving under the influence of marijuana.