As marijuana is legalized across the nation, the race is on to create an effective breathalyzer to check for driving impairment.
Hound Labs, a California-based company, announced this week that it was working with scientists at the University of California, Berkley to create the device. Ideally, the device would allow for law enforcement officials to simultaneously check for alcohol and marijuana impairment.
Currently, most states use saliva or blood tests – but those tests often simply show if marijuana has been used in the past few days or weeks. There is no effective method to test for current impairment.
In Washington, drivers are “impaired” if they have 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or more, but the standard differs across the nation.
The company has currently moved into clinical trials. It will also work closely with San Francisco law enforcement to continue testing and perfecting the device.
But Hound Labs isn’t the only one looking to create their own breathalyzer. Researchers from Washington State University are also looking to make a marijuana breathalyzer.
Ensuring an effective, accurate test is critical not only for states who currently have legal marijuana, but also for states looking to legalize in the future.
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