California Pushing For Test To Help Officers Detect Drugged Driving

Police officer holding a breathalyzer

Between the legalization of medicinal marijuana and the push for recreational legalization, police officers and state officials are looking for a way to better detect who might be driving while under the influence. Their hope is a handheld electronic device that would automatically detect the presence of various drugs, including marijuana, on a saliva swab. The real question is whether or not they could successfully pass such legislation and if it would, in fact, give them the evidence needed in a courtroom.

When and How the Swab Would Be Used

As the law currently stands, convictions for driving under the influence of marijuana – even medical marijuana – are rather subjective since blood tests are unable to determine the last episode of use. As such, prosecutors and law enforcement use a battery of circumstances, including the presence of marijuana in the bloodstream, driving patterns, failed field sobriety tests, and physical appearance.  In contrast, a swab test focuses on recent drug use, typically within approximately 24 to 72 hours with marijuana.

Will Swab Testing Be Used Against You for a DUI?

Advocates shot down a similar bill last year, claiming there is a lack of scientific evidence on the test’s efficacy, but similar swab tests are already being used throughout the country to determine a person’s eligibility for employment. Moreover, Los Angeles prosecutors claim that cases with swab evidence plead out earlier than cases without them, and the bill has some strong backing this time around. In short, the risk of a DUI for medicinal and recreational marijuana users may soon increase exponentially.

Skilled Legal Assistance for a Marijuana DUI Crucial

Regardless of whether or not the bill passes, marijuana users need to know the importance of legal representation if they are ever charged with a DUI. And, because much of the evidence is subjective, and because no test – not even the swab test – can truly determine if you are intoxicated at the time of arrest, marijuana users need a skilled attorney who understands the laws and particulars of DUI drug cases.

The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich have worked with hundreds of clients on their drug and DUI charges and we have the experience needed to effectively help you with your case. Do not wait until it is too late to seek representation. Get the dedicated legal defense team you need now by scheduling your free initial consultation with a skilled San Jose, California DUI attorney today.  Call us at (408) 898-9770.


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