Driving under the influence is an all-encompassing term that doesn’t just refer to drunk driving. Drugged driving is also a major safety concern. Drugged driving can happen in a variety of ways, with one of the most common forms being driving under the influence of marijuana. However, prescription medications can also contribute to a drugged driving charge, as could any other illicit drug or substance.
Testing for a person’s intoxication as a result of these substances can be a bit tricky. For example, certain chemicals or psychoactive agents may linger in the body for many days, or they may clear out of the person’s body very quickly. This can make measuring a person’s intoxication a bit imprecise when it comes to drugged driving.
That could change soon, at least when it comes to marijuana. Researchers are working on a breath test device that would measure a person’s THC levels (THC is the main psychoactive agent in marijuana). This could eliminate some of the imprecise nature associated with effectively measuring a person’s intoxication when it comes to drugged driving. It will also tighten up the police procedure for these offenses, which often rely on a lot of observations and fringe evidence — in other words, it can be far from perfect.
Not much else is known about the device, but it appears that the future of breath tests is not far away. In the mean time, this is a good time to serve up two reminders to Minnesota drivers. The first is simple: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very bad decision that could lead to some severe consequences. The other lesson is that if you are ordered to have a breath test by the police, you should not refuse it. Refusing a breath test will only hurt your situation. It will lead to an automatic suspension of your license and it is unlikely to help your case in any tangible way.