Study: There’s No Valid Measure for Too High to Drive

Study: There’s No Valid Measure for Too High to Drive


When law enforcement officers want to measure how intoxicated someone is, the process is a fairly easy one. Officers ask drivers to participate in field sobriety tests, including roadside tests and chemical tests. The more alcohol that is present in a person’s blood, the more impaired that person is. When law enforcement officers
want to determine how “high” someone is, the process is not so simple. In fact, there is currently no valid way to measure just how high someone is or how impaired they are.

Blood tests are available that measure the amount of THC in a person’s system. Unfortunately, those tests have no way of judging how impaired someone is. A person with a low amount of THC in their system may act more impaired than someone with a high amount of the chemical coursing through their veins.

This information is important. Several states have tried to set legal limits for the amount of THC in a person’s blood, but the AAA has concluded that those limits are unsupported by current science. The group warns that drivers who are not impaired could be arrested and those who are severely impaired could be let go.

The disconnect between THC levels in the blood and the level of impairment may be linked to the fact that the chemical is metabolized by the system rapidly. The amount of THC in the blood is determined by the dose and usage patterns. Those who rarely smoke marijuana may have lower amounts of THC in the blood, and those who regularly partake may have higher amounts, regardless of whether or not they smoked before getting behind the wheel.

Law enforcement is being urged by many groups not to rely on such blood tests at this time. Instead, reliance should be placed on a combination of psychological and behavioral tests.

In Georgia, all recreational use of marijuana is illegal. Therefore, if you have any THC in your blood without a prescription, you could be in serious legal trouble. If you have been arrested for DUI in Atlanta, you need a qualified, experienced attorney like Hawkins Spizman Kilgo fighting in your corner. Don’t let your arrest have more of a negative impact on your future than it needs to. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.

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