Marijuana is considered a gateway drug and many people use this illegal substance. Driving while stoned after using marijuana can have serious or even deadly consequences because of how this drug works in the body. Marijuana causes mental and physical impairment and this can impact your motor skills needed to operate a vehicle and your judgment. Another reason that driving while stoned puts others at risk is that your perception is off, so that car in front of you may be closer than you actually think. Until now determining whether someone is driving while stoned after using marijuana has been difficult to detect. Marijuana may be detected in the body for up to 30 days after the drug is used, but courts have found that just the presence of certain drug metabolites in your system is not enough and proof that you were impaired from using marijuana is not as easy to show.
Driving while stoned after using marijuana is on the rise, and this causes many of the same issues that drunk drivers do. There is a new breath test being developed that can help law enforcement determine if someone has been using marijuana within the last 30-150 minutes simply by having the driver breath into the testing device. The breath test would confirm the presence of THC, which is the active substance in marijuana. This device holds great potential for workplace drug screening, and for law enforcement who suspect that someone is driving while stoned after using marijuana. The breath testing procedure for marijuana was developed by scientists with the NDA.