The legalization of marijuana has brought about a lot of changes in our society, including new laws and regulations when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs. While alcohol impairment tests have been around for decades, Marijuana impairment test are still relatively new and can be confusing for many people. In this article, we will dive into the basics of how these tests work and what you need to know if you find yourself facing one.
First, it’s important to understand how marijuana affects the body. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, affects different people in different ways and can have a range of physical and psychological effects. Some of the most common effects include impaired coordination, slowed reaction times, and changes in perception. These effects can be especially dangerous when driving, which is why tests have been developed to determine if someone is under the influence while behind the wheel.
One common test used in marijuana impairment cases is the field sobriety test. This test typically involves a police officer asking the driver to perform a series of physical tasks, such as standing on one foot or walking in a straight line. While these tests can be effective in determining alcohol impairment, they are less reliable for marijuana impairment because the symptoms of being high can be more subtle than being drunk. Therefore, other more advanced testing methods may be necessary.
Another type of test used to detect marijuana impairment is the drug recognition examination (DRE). This test involves a specially-trained drug recognition expert observing the suspect and conducting a series of tests to determine the level of impairment. The DRE test can include things like checking the suspect’s blood pressure, pulse, and pupil dilation, as well as conducting additional physical and cognitive tests to assess coordination, memory, and other areas that may be impacted by marijuana use.
Blood tests are another way to determine if someone has used marijuana recently, but they are not always effective in determining impairment. THC can remain in a person’s system for days or even weeks after use, so a blood test can’t necessarily prove that someone was under the influence at the time of the traffic stop. However, if coupled with other test results and observations by officers, it can be used as evidence of impairment.
Understanding marijuana impairment tests can be confusing, and it’s important to have a good understanding of what they involve if you ever find yourself in a situation where you may be facing one. If you’ve driven while under the influence of marijuana, it’s crucial to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible to help you navigate the potential consequences and understand your options. As always, the best way to avoid legal issues related to drug or alcohol use is to never get behind the wheel while under the influence. Keep yourself and others safe by always driving sober.