Field sobriety tests for marijuana

A recent study has found that THC has the ability to cause a DUI/DWI/OUI in New Jersey. This research compared test results for these tests before and after the participants consumed THC. These tests include the paced serial addition test, the divided attention test, tasks on a smartphone app, and standard field sobriety tests that also measure alcohol impairment.

What were the effects of the THC?

The participants that vaped the THC experienced negative cognitive and psychomotor effects somewhere between immediately and two approximately. Most returned to their normal cognitive and psychomotor abilities after approximately four hours. For those who ingested the THC orally, the cognitive and psychomotor impact took a little while longer to show up. They observed most of these effects between one and five hours after they administered the doses. These same patients returned to their baseline functioning after roughly eight hours. While they were experiencing effects from the THC, surprisingly this was not shown when the researchers had them perform field sobriety tests. The testing of the participant’s blood, urine, and saliva did not accurately represent how intoxicated they were from the THC. This makes testing in the event of a DUI/DWI/OUI particularly tricky.

What are the implications of this study for law enforcement agencies?

After conducting this study, researchers concluded that standard THC markers were unreliable for measuring the level of marijuana intoxication that an individual is experiencing. This is because several of the participants showed low levels of THC in their blood and urine, even though they were incredibly intoxicated by the THC. These same researchers hope that this study will later help to inform policies revolving around THC intoxication and increase funding for figuring out scientifically backed methods for measuring THC intoxication.

Driving under the influence is incredibly risky, even if science hasn’t caught up to prove it yet. If you have experienced an accident because of THC intoxication, reach out to a qualified attorney for assistance.

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