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Marijuana Breathalyzers and the Future of DUI Law

Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana across parts of the United States, understand that future legalization will most certainly continue. Arguments for and against the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana will always remain, but we would be short-sighted not to look how legalization will affect other parts of the law.

As we mentioned in an October 2016 post, Memphis City Council voted to partially decriminalize marijuana in Shelby County. While it did not make marijuana legal, it proposed lesser criminal punishment for possession charges. Subsequently, in April 2017 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law legislation repealing the decriminalization ordinances previously passed in both Memphis and Nashville. A full article on Governor Haslam’s actions can be found in The Tennessean here.

Just because these proposed ordinances have not succeeded does not mean marijuana use will decrease. In fact, as far back as 2015, Time magazine reported that marijuana use has doubled during the last decade. The ever-increasing use of marijuana will inevitably lead to more charges of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.

The Problem with Marijuana Stops

One of the problems facing police officers across the nation is obtaining a conviction against a driver suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or other illegal substances.  Because there is no current breathalyzer device that can be used to accurately detect marijuana use (such as there is for alcohol), it is difficult for law enforcement personnel to secure convictions.

While officers can obtain a warrant to draw blood of a suspected impaired driver, these blood tests are often inconclusive and cannot determine when said individual inhaled an illegal substance.

The Solution for Police Officers and Marijuana  

This problem may have a solution. U.S. News reported here that marijuana breathalyzers are now being tested, with successful results thus far. Alternatively, Scientific American reported here that marijuana breathalyzers will take some time to develop.

For certain, technology for these devices is moving at a rapid pace, and there will come a day when officers will be able to use handheld devices to test for cannabis/THC/marijuana.

No matter what substance you take, driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs is dangerous to yourself and other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Answer as Your Memphis Attorney

If you have been injured by a drunk or impaired driver, The Chiozza Law Firm and Your901Law.com can help you recover for any damages or injuries you may sustain. Whether you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian involved in an automobile accident, you need an experienced attorney to help you thru the process.

The Chiozza Law Firm has handled thousands of automobile, bus and motorcycle accident cases through the years, achieving substantial settlements and verdicts. We are a firm that you can trust, as evidenced by our reasonable fee arrangements and past history. Call 901-526-9494 for a free consultation or contact Brian Chiozza, brian@chiozzalaw.com, for immediate assistance.   

It costs absolutely nothing to speak with an attorney at The Chiozza Law Firm about your case, but it can cost you more than you think should you not consult with an experienced attorney.

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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 7:50 AM
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