Police departments in the United States could be using “pot breathalyzer” tests as early as 2016, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Hound Labs, Inc., in conjunction with scientists at the University of California, have created a device that detects not only the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a prevalent chemical compound in marijuana, but also its concentration. Unlike previous tests which had no way to determine when marijuana was used, the new device will establish whether someone is currently intoxicated.
“Everyone can agree that folks should not drive while impaired by marijuana,” Brian Vicente, a cannabis industry attorney, told U.S. News & World Report. “What’s made legislation difficult is how do you define and find impairment?”
According to Hound Labs CEO Mike Lynn, the new device should manage to solve this dilemma.
“Our technology… will prevent the wrongful arrest of people who have some THC in their system but are not impaired,” Lynn said.
According to Lynn, the device should be available late next year for “well under a thousand dollars,“ and is already drawing the attention of law enforcement officials, including Alameda County, California, Sheriff Greg Ahern.
"By measuring THC in breath, [the device] will help us get impaired drivers off the road and also make sure that unimpaired individuals who happen to have some THC in their system aren’t wrongfully arrested,” Ahern said.
(Source: US News & World Report)