Detecting cannabis is difficult at traffic stops

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2020 | Domestic Violence |

Even though Florida has not legalized marijuana, more people are using cannabis these days than ever. This leads to them getting behind the wheel after they have consumed it. Driving while impaired is illegal and can result in severe penalties for the motorist. However, officers are not always able to detect at the scene of a traffic stop whether someone is under the influence of cannabis.

It is must easier for police officers to arrest someone for drunk driving. There is a breathalyzer test that registers an instant result. Officers will know immediately whether a driver is over the legal limit. This is not the case with cannabis. Police officers can administer a blood test but it does not give immediate results and most officers do not have the ability or equipment to do this on the spot.

Accordingly, there is new work to develop an easier test which would allow police officers to detect marijuana usage once they make a traffic stop. The particular test under development will analyze the driver’s saliva to determine whether they have cannabis in their system. One particular problem that law enforcement will still face is that there is no legal standard that says whether a driver is over a certain limit when it comes to cannabis. The laws need to be better defined in this area.

Those who have been arrested for driving while impaired can face tough penalties that can include fines, jail time and the loss of their driver’s license. They will need a criminal law – criminal defense attorney to help them navigate the legal system. The attorney may try to negotiate a plea deal, especially if it is the driver’s first offense. Then, the driver can go about getting their life back in order to not make this mistake again.