This has led to attempts by lawmakers and authorities to find ways to detect Marijuana impairment now more than ever. Unlike Alcohol and other drugs, blood and urine tests can detect Marijuana in a person’s blood stream several weeks after the drug has been consumed, making it especially difficult for a method of detection that proves a person consumed forms of THC within hours of driving.
If a California officer pulls you over and believes that you are driving under the influence of Marijuana, their first course of action to verify their suspicions will usually be a field sobriety test.
A field sobriety test is a series of physical and mental exercises administered by police during Marijuana DUI investigations to help determine a driver’s level of impairment. California law enforcement officials rely heavily on field sobriety tests when deciding whether or not to arrest a person who is suspected of driving under the influence.
There are different types of field sobriety tests used by California officers, the three “standardized” tests being the “horizontal gaze nystagmus test”, the “walk and turn test”, and the “one-leg stand”, all of which are detailed below.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
One Leg Stand Test
In California, if an officer has probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of Marijuana or any other drug, you have already given your consent to provide a blood, breath, or urine test.
A urine test is not common, but if officers are unable to administer a blood or breath test, you are required to take a urine test. For Marijuana, using blood, breath, or urine tests to determine whether a person is under the influence of THC at the time they were driving is a flawed system, as blood and urine tests are unable to determine whether Marijuana was consumed within the last few hours while breath testing technology does not have the ability to detect Marijuana, as of now.
Due to the increased number of drivers driving while under the influence of drugs, police officers in Los Angeles are now testing using drug swabs at DUI checkpoints. The test is roughly eight minutes long and uses a person’s saliva to detect THC, crystal meth, methadone, cocaine, and several other prescription medications.
There are conflicting reports as to the accuracy of these tests. The tests work by detecting trace amounts of drugs in California driver’s saliva, but there can be traces of some drugs in your saliva up to three days after consuming them. This leaves plenty of room for doubt in a court room, as it would be nearly impossible to prove without a shadow of a doubt in a court room that a person was under the influence of Marijuana at the time they were driving solely based on a saliva drug swab.
If you or your loved one were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of Marijuana in California, you may have several options to help defend your innocence. Contact one of our Marijuana DUI defense attorneys today. Having had successful Marijuana DUI case outcomes for the majority of those I have represented, our firm has the experience and history of success that will help you to feel confident about your case moving forward.