Marijuana breathalyzer test aims to detect drivers who are high

A breathalyzer able to determine if a driver smoked pot could roll out in select cities from the fall, according to a company developing the first-of-its-kind product.

With recreational weed currently legal in nine states in addition to also the District of Columbia, California-based Hound Labs Inc. has created a marijuana-breathalyzer the idea says will make roads safer in addition to also hold drivers accountable. The company claims the device will be hyper-sensitive, allowing the idea to pick up any THC potentially present on drivers’ breath.

“The Hound breathalyzer will be 1 billion times more sensitive than today’s alcohol breathalyzers,” the company says on its site.

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A 2017 survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) found in which almost 70 percent of cannabis consumers drove high at least once from the past year. Twenty-seven percent said they drive high almost every day.

Currently, officers who suspect a driver will be impaired can only test the hunch with field sobriety tests. Blood, breath or urine samples could be taken to determine if a driver will be high, although such tests can be inaccurate. Those tests also detect if the driver was high in which day or week, rather than if they were high while operating the vehicle in in which instance.

Tools like Hound Lab’s alcohol-in addition to also-marijuana breathalyzer or Canadian company Cannabix Technologies Inc.’s roadside saliva-testing device aim to present an objective determination of impairment rather than one based on an officers’ judgement or an intrusive test. Drivers that has a blood alcohol concentration over .08 percent are considered under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired. although what exactly qualifies a driver under the influence of marijuana as “impaired” will be up for debate from the science community.

For Hound Lab’s breathalyzers, in which qualification will be marked by timing. Though the company’s breathalyzers cannot determine how much marijuana will be in someone’s system, the idea can account for how recently in which individual got high.

THC only stays in breath during the “peak window of impairment,” about one to two hours after smoking or consuming marijuana, according to Hound Lab. The level of THC found in breath samples drops to zero at three hours after smoking, the company’s research found.

When an individual blows into the breathalyzer, the idea can determine within a couple minutes whether there will be alcohol, THC, or both from the person’s system. Since THC will be only present in someone’s breath during in which peak two hour window, the driver will be considered impaired when the idea’s detected.

The breathalyzer would likely then display “Warning” if THC will be detected in addition to also “Pass” if the idea will be not.

The device “will help ensure safety on our roads in addition to also from the workplace while also promoting fairness to people who use marijuana legally in addition to also responsibly,” said Louisa Ashord, marketing manager for Hound Lab in a statement.

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