June 1, 2017 By Matthew Wallin

Almost everyone is aware of a Breathalyzer test. If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you will likely have to take a breath test to measure your blood-alcohol content level. However, many DUI cases involve drugs, and there is not yet a way to accurately measure the amount of drugs in a person’s system in a quick way.

That could soon change. California police agencies are currently testing a breath test device that measures the amount of drugs in a person’s system. Could this device soon be used by all law enforcement agencies?

Measuring Marijuana Through a Breath Test

California recently legalized the use of marijuana, but DUI laws have yet to catch up with these updated marijuana laws. It is extremely difficult to test drugged drivers for marijuana use, and there is no standard of how much marijuana can be in a person’s system to be considered “under the influence” – i.e. 0.08% is the legal limit for blood-alcohol content while driving.

Marijuana is much more complicated to regulate because the drug can have widely different effects on people. So how can law enforcement measure the amount of marijuana in a driver’s system?

Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Kern counties are testing out a cheek swab system that detects if someone has any of six drugs in his or her system. Under this system, law enforcement officers collect a swab of saliva from the driver’s mouth, then insert the swab into a device the size of a walkie-talkie. Within five minutes, the device provides a reading of whether any of the six drugs it detects are found within the person’s saliva.

Could the Drug DUI Test Be Used Statewide?

So, if this drug test device is being used in select counties, can we expect it to be used throughout all of California soon? That could be likely.

Alere Toxicology, the company that created the oral drug test, claims that the device is 95% accurate. Last year, a Kern County judge ruled that the results of an oral drug test are admissible as evidence in court. It seems the path is clear for oral drug tests to be used widely.

Law enforcement agencies are working with the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego to improve drug testing methods. A $1.8 million study is currently underway focused on further improving drug tests and how they are administered on suspected impaired drivers.

Contact the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are charged with DUI due to marijuana or drug use, you face severe consequences. However, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to help you show that you were not actually impaired. The laws on drug use while driving are very vague, and an experienced DUI attorney may be able to apply a valid legal defense to your case.

At Wallin & Klarich, our DUI attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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