No good answer for roadside marijuana tests
On behalf of J. Kippa Law, LLC | January 31, 2017
Though marijuana is not yet legal in Wisconsin, it is in some other states for both medical and recreational use. The widespread legalization is now bringing up questions about how to test drivers for marijuana intoxication. Police officers do not have a reliable way to determine whether drivers are stoned, and charging drivers with marijuana possession is no longer an option in many states.
After smoking marijuana, THC can remain in the person’s blood for several weeks. That’s why a driver could end up failing a roadside toxicology test even after all of the effects of THC have worn away. A positive result for marijuana in a toxicology test does not confirm that a driver is under the influence of marijuana, so police officers must use other methods to determine whether a driver is stoned.
Police officers that cannot use toxicology tests to confirm marijuana intoxication may use field sobriety tests, but those tests may not be reliable measures of marijuana intoxication either. Many defense lawyers are arguing that there is no real scientific evidence to prove that a field sobriety test can determine whether or not a driver is stoned. Other marijuana testing methods may need to be developed for traffic stops, but right now police officers do not have many options.
A driver that has been accused of drugged or drunk driving may want to have representation from a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help a driver to dispute the evidence that is being used against them by arguing that it is unscientific and unreliable.