You’ve heard all about blowing into a machine to test for alcohol intoxication. As it now stands, a breathalyzer cannot test for drugs. In a prior article, we explained how charges are pursued against someone driving under the influence of drugs. However, updated technology may mean a new means of testing for all types of intoxicants.
You just have to listen to radio and television ads to know there is a real crackdown on substance abuse, as one of the nation’s leading public health issues. The push for finding better ways of testing for drivers under the influence is related to a few factors. First, there is the fact that opioid use has reached record-setting highs since 2014. And, when it comes to marijuana, there’s a push to make it available even for recreational use here in New Jersey.
What does that mean? Marijuana is also the second most commonly detected drug in DUI blood tests. However, it can stay in the blood and urine for a long period of time. Consequently, someone could be charged with driving while under the influence even though they haven’t smoked pot in a couple of weeks.
Detecting Weed on the Breath
Actually, it might sound like an idealistic notion. However, it’s something that scientists are working on to perfect for use in the United States. According to a journal article from a few years ago, some Swedish researchers have been attempting to develop a breathalyzer to detect the use of methadone, amphetamine, methamphetamine, 6-acetylmorphine, morphine, benzoylecgonine, cocaine, diazepam, oxazepam, alprazolam, buprenorphine, and tetrahydrocannabinol.
Proponents of the idea, including police precincts all over the country, say a breathalyzer model for drug testing would be considerably easier to administer compared to the current blood or urine-based testing. They also say it would provide quicker results. Skeptics, however, are quick to point out that such technology may be hard to develop and refine because of the different way in which marijuana metabolizes in the body and the difficulty in assessing vapor of THC.
Are We There Yet?
While scientists are working to perfect a breath-based model for cannabis testing, there is still a long way to go before its acceptance in both the clinical and legal community. This is something to keep in mind if you’ve been pulled over for a drug-related DUI. Different drugs stay in the system for different amounts of time and to suggest that there’s a catch-all solution to universal breath-based detection may be naïve.
Knowledge Is Power
Would a breathalyzer for drug testing work in your favor if you are charged with a DUI? There is no sure way of knowing until it is developed. In the meantime, if you have been accused of driving while under the influence, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo to see how we can help you.
When a prosecutor is working as hard as they can to take your license away, you need an experienced and reliable DUI attorney to help you understand your rights and options. The Lawyers at Beninato and Matrafajlo are ready to step in on your behalf. Contact us today at for a free, no-obligation consultation.