In our previous post, we spoke about a product in development by a company called Cannnabix Technologies which was unveiled at this year’s Marijuana Investor Summit and Business Expo: the marijuana breathalyzer.
As we pointed out, the idea is exciting in the sense that it could potentially provide a way for those who legally use marijuana either recreationally or for medical purposes to better determine their level of impairment prior to getting behind the wheel. On the other hand, though, there is also the criticism that if law enforcement adopted such a tool, it could lead to inaccurate test results for some drivers due to the way marijuana is processed by the body.
Here in Colorado, of course, even those who use marijuana legally are prohibited from driving while impaired by drugs. As we mentioned last time, state law establishes 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter as the legal limit. The presumption is that a driver who is found to be at that level was impaired at the time of the arrest.
The presumption is rebuttable, though, meaning that a defendant can present evidence showing that he or she was not actually impaired, despite the test results. Rebutting the presumption is not necessarily an easy thing to do, though, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure one’s rights are protected and that one has a fighting chance.
Right now, it isn’t clear how much a marijuana breathalyzer would actually help marijuana users, or law enforcement. For that matter, it isn’t clear how near we are to having such technology available to consumers. We’ll certainly keep readers abreast of any developments on this issue, though.