A new test could help detect cannabis usage

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Criminal Law, Drug Charges

As cannabis usage increases among the general public, more people in Indiana are getting behind the wheel when they are under the influence. This is obviously illegal and certainly dangerous. However, it is not always easy for police officers to detect people who are driving while impaired in the same way that they can spot drunk drivers.

When it comes to alcohol, police can administer a Breathalyzer test on the spot and get an immediate reading that can lead to an arrest. However, in the case of cannabis, police would have to give a blood test at the scene. That is not easy and many officers are not equipped to do so. With that in mind, there is work underway to develop a test that can detect cannabis usage just from analyzing the saliva of a driver taken at the scene. The intent is that the test will give an immediate reading that will enable the police officer to make an arrest.

Nonetheless, even if the police officer is able to know that a driver is under the influence of cannabis, it is not always apparent how strong the influence needs to be in order to arrest the driver. This is an issue that states will need to address in the future.

Those who have been pulled over on suspicion of driving while impaired or face charges need legal counsel to help them navigate the system. A criminal law attorney could help a driver either negotiate a plea bargain or fight the charges if they believe that they are innocent. Penalties for driving while impaired can include fines, loss of license or even jail time so drivers need legal counsel to represent them throughout the process.