Everyone should know that driving under the influence of drugs is against the law. However, it can be difficult for law enforcement officers to identify when a specific driver is actually under the influence. For example, typical signs of marijuana use can include red or bloodshot eyes, lack of focus, or slower response time. However, these can also be the effects of fatigue or illness and such behavior does not always indicate that a person is stoned. Often, an officer’s observations can lead to wrongful arrests of drivers who were not using marijuana.
Even blood tests that later show the presence of THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) in a suspect’s system can be problematic. First, THC can stay in a person’s system for days or even weeks for heavy users. Just because a blood test detects THC does not mean that the person was high at the time they were driving. In addition, forensic labs can make errors that can lead to inaccurate results, which can then lead to wrongful convictions of DWI.
New Mouth Test May Hit the Market
If an officer suspects a driver has been drinking alcohol, the officer can use a breathalyzer device to test the amount of alcohol present in the driver’s breath. Similar to a breathalyzer, researchers at Stanford University have developed a device that can detect the presence of THC in a person’s mouth.
Specifically, an officer could use the device to swab the inside of a driver’s mouth. The swab would then be connected to a sensor that sends results to an officer’s smartphone via Bluetooth, indicating whether there was THC present in the driver’s mouth, which would indicate recent marijuana use.
While this type of testing could reduce the number of wrongful arrests for DWI involving marijuana, you can be sure that skilled defense attorneys will also be scrutinizing these test results. The officers have to be properly trained, the equipment has to be properly calibrated, and more to ensure accurate results. The tests cannot automatically be trusted to correctly identify and prove marijuana use in drivers.
Call (908) 231-0052 today for more information.
DWI cases involving marijuana can have serious consequences for drivers in New Jersey. If you have been accused of driving while you were under the influence of marijuana, you should immediately discuss your case with an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney. Please call the Law Offices of Steven H. Fleischer, LLC for more information on how we can help you today.