Marijuana consumption has become widely accepted across the United States. With more and more states legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana, it’s essential to understand how it can impair your driving and reaction times. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in all states, and impairment tests are developed to determine the level of intoxication and whether an individual is susceptible to accidents. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the basics of Marijuana impairment test and discover how to stay safe on the road.
What is a marijuana impairment test?
Marijuana impairment tests are designed as a measure of identifying whether someone is under the influence of marijuana. These tests are implemented by police officers at DUI checkpoints or during traffic stops. There are two types of marijuana impairment tests that are commonly used by law enforcement. One is the field sobriety test, and the other is blood or urine testing. Field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) tests are performed to establish visible signs of impairment.
How do marijuana impairment tests work?
Field sobriety tests are performed in stages. For the HGN test, the officer will ask the driver to track a moving object with their eyes. The test can identify eyes’ movements and involuntary jerking that may indicate impairment. During the walk-and-turn test, drivers are required to walk a straight line, heel-to-toe, and walk back while following specific instructions. The one-leg stand test will ask the driver to stand on one leg while counting out loud. The officer will watch as the driver performs the test, checking for issues like balance, swaying, and inability to follow directions.
Blood or urine testing is done at a hospital after a driver is arrested. Blood tests can determine the exact concentration level of marijuana in the blood, while urine tests provide a positive or negative result. Blood tests are considered more accurate and reliable than urine tests, but both can indicate marijuana use in one’s system.
What are the limitations of marijuana impairment tests?
Marijuana impairment tests can be challenged in court because various factors can impact an individual’s performance and reaction time. Physical or psychological limitations, environmental issues like traffic noise, or even the weather can result in false positive results. Also, marijuana remains detectable in the bloodstream for much longer than alcohol, making it harder to determine whether the driver was impaired during the test.
How to avoid getting pulled over for marijuana impairment
The best way to ensure you stay safely on the road and avoid being pulled over for marijuana impairment is to refrain from consuming marijuana when you need to drive. Even though marijuana is legal in many areas, it’s still critical to avoid consuming it when you know you’ll be driving. When investigating DUIs, law enforcement officials often look for probable cause to stop a driver. Probable cause can be anything from broken tail lights, expired registration, or even swerving in your lane.
Marijuana impairment tests are essential in ensuring that drivers are safe on the roads. The best way to prevent being pulled over and arrested for marijuana impairment is to avoid consuming marijuana when driving at all costs. If you do consume marijuana, it’s essential to wait until you’re sober before getting behind the wheel. Understanding the basics of marijuana impairment tests can help you avoid legal trouble and keep you and others safe while on the road. Remember, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and impaired driving is dangerous, so stay sober and stay safe.