Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz talks about the use of Pot Breathalyzers as an option for cops during roadside field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is under the infulence of THC.
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to shoot a quick video on Pot Breathalyzers. I have really been thinking about this recently. In my legal practice, I handle a lot of personal injury cases and a lot of these personal injury cases are car accident cases or car crash cases. In a lot of these incidents, the clients that I have are injured in the accident because it’s the fault of someone else. In a lot of those cases when I say it’s the fault of someone else, that someone else is driving impaired. Either they are driving impaired due to the alcohol or they’re driving impaired because they use drugs and they’re not fully in control of their vehicle and they crash into someone.
So, I have been thinking recently it would be very helpful especially since it seems like these days more and more people are using marijuana whether it be legal medical marijuana or illegal marijuana. I think that there is definitely an increase in the number of people smoking pot. I’ve been thinking in my legal practice where I’m representing plaintiffs in car accident car crash cases it would be very helpful for the cops to have a pot breathalyzer. And so I was kind of excited when I saw this article pop up in my news feed, It said, “NPR article titled, The Pot Breathalyzer Is Here, Maybe.” Essentially, it’s an article talking about how a company has come up with what may prove to be a reliable portable breath test machine that police can use out in the field to identify people who have THC in their system.
I’ve been thinking about some of the issues surrounding this. One of the issues is that under the law of many states, any amount of THC in your system puts you over the legal limit. So, for instance, as we’re shooting this video, we’re in Delaware right now, under Delaware drunk driving laws if you have any amount of marijuana or any amount of THC in your system, you’re drunk driving. Even if you’re not impaired in any way shape or form. Even if it’s been you know three days since you smoked pot, you may not have any kind of, you know disability whatsoever behind the wheel, but if you have THC in your system, you are over the legal limit. In the article, they say that is one of the challenges with these devices is how are you going to be able to identify not only whether someone has THC in their system but how much THC they have.
That is one of the challenges but at the same time, I think that the way the situation is now the police don’t have anything that they can really use so far as a portable breath testing device is concerned. You know they don’t have anything that they can pull out and use at a roadside stop. So, what they’re doing is they’re looking for indicators of impairment. They are not running a scientific test; they’re looking at your eyes. Do you have glassy eyes? Do you have nystagmus, meaning do your eyes sweep smoothly, or do they move in short spurts or short blasts in order to keep up with a moving object? Are you slurring your speech? Are you steady on your feet, etc.? Those types of field sobriety tests may not be as accurate as a device that can run a test to determine whether someone has THC in their system.
So, I just want to make clear in this video, I’m absolutely in favor of the police having some form of portable breath test machine that can identify whether a driver who’s been in a car accident, who has caused a car accident has THC in their system so that they can prosecute that individual criminally. So I’m interested to know what you think? Do you think this is a good idea or is it a bad idea? Leave us a comment in response to this video and tell us what your thoughts are. What are the issues that people like me who are engaged in this sort of legal affairs on a daily basis? What type of issues should we be looking out for as we move forward and go into this sort of new era where marijuana is more socially acceptable and more widespread?
Thanks for watching! Let me know your thoughts, leave us a comment in the comment section of this video or send you an e-mail. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org