Minnesota residents who are subjected to a traffic stop by law enforcement may face the possibility of getting charged with driving while intoxicated. This is generally associated with alcohol. In an alcohol-related investigation, the driver might be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine his or her blood alcohol content. If the amount in the driver’s system surpasses a certain level, there will likely be an arrest. As cannabis is more widely used, the concern about DUI for cannabis is growing.
Understanding the effects of cannabis
Since cannabis can also lead to intoxication and unsafe driving, law enforcement is seeking convenient ways to test for it. Recent research from the University of Texas is giving scientists hope that such a test may be on the horizon. Researchers say that cannabis can hinder a driver’s reactions, ability to stay alert and awareness. THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis, can lead to impairment if there is enough in the person’s system.
The use of saliva in roadside cannabis tests
To test for cannabis, a blood test is usually administered. This is not feasible during a traffic stop. Saliva could solve this issue, and a test using the fluid takes around five minutes to complete. Cannabis is not yet legal for recreational purposes in Minnesota. Currently, more and more states are legalizing it. If that happens across the nation, the worry that drivers will use it before driving has led to seeking more convenient testing with available options like saliva.
Help available for those charged
Easier testing may be beneficial for law enforcement, but it can result in people being charged with DUI for cannabis based on a relatively new testing procedure. When the testing is used in a widespread fashion, people might be arrested and charged for DUI after using cannabis and face the possibility of penalties such as fines, jail and a driver’s license suspension. After a traffic stop, facing allegations of DUI for cannabis can cause problems personally, legally and professionally. Having a legal defense for DUI regardless of the reason for the arrest may be imperative to deal with the case and avoid the worst possible consequences.