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New Breathalyzer for Cannabis Developed

December 3, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
New Breathalyzer for Cannabis Developed Image courtesy of digitaltrends.com

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Up until now, Police officers trying to determine whether a person is driving under the influence of marijuana, which is illegal, have had to wait 24 hours for blood tests to confirm whether a driver is high.

Them days seem to be coming to an end because scientists have developed a cannabis-detecting breathalyser that produces results almost immediately.

Researchers at Washington State University came up with the handheld breathalyzer to detect THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

The gadget uses ion-mobility technology, which is used by airport security professionals to detect drugs and explosives, The Seattle Times reported.

The new device, which is still a prototype and could be tested on humans in 2015, does not detect how stoned a driver is, it just confirms the presence of THC in their system.

Once a cop administers the test, if the chemical compound is detected then a blood test would be given later on and the evidence would be used in court.

Drugs affects people’s driving skills such as giving them slower reaction times, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, ‘the shakes,’ dizziness, fatigue and the affects their ability to concentrate properly, which could increase their chance of having an accident.

Washington State University’s research could soon help out the Washington State Patrol, which have said that a quarter of blood samples taken from drivers in the area in the last year tested positive for cannabis.

Multiple states have legalised cannabis in the last two years. In 2013 in the state of Washington, 1,362 drivers tested positive for having active cannabis in their system – 25 per cent more than the previous year.

It is estimated that 720 of these people had THC levels high enough to lead to an automatic drugged driving conviction under state law.

The Washington State Patrol says it welcomes anything that gets impaired drivers off the road.

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