By Jessica Poundsfirstname.lastname@example.org Sep 2, 2018
Hound Labs recently created a breathalyzer able to detect the amount of THC — the main active compound in marijuana — in a driver’s breath.
A company in California recently created a breathalyzer able to detect the amount of THC — the main active compound in marijuana — in a driver’s breath.
“In partnership with Triple Ring Technologies, we developed portable technology that meets or exceeds the gold standard used by forensic laboratories throughout the world,” said Mike Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Hound Labs. “We offer a solution that not only extends the boundaries of clinical research, but also provides better information about recent marijuana use for employers, law enforcement and legislators who are trying to balance public safety with the fair treatment of responsible cannabis users.”
THC only stays in breath during the “peak window of impairment,” about one to two hours after smoking marijuana, according to Hound Labs. The level of THC found in breath samples drops to zero at three hours after smoking, the company’s research found.
When an individual blows into the breathalyzer, it can determine within a couple minutes whether there is alcohol, THC or both in the person’s system. Since THC is only present in someone’s breath during that peak two-hour window, the driver is considered impaired when it’s detected.
The breathalyzer would then display “Warning” if THC is detected and “Pass” if it is not.
Several readers shared their thoughts about the device on the Times-Review Facebook page.
Scott Stevens said marijuana simply needs to be legalized and taxed, but he approves of the device.
“Don’t drive impaired — alcohol or THC,” he said. “Not sure how folks are still confused about this.”
Jon Ball said too much money is being put into keeping marijuana illegal.
“The increase in revenue of it being legal will outweigh the waste of money from trying to regulate it,” he said. “Time to start making back what we’ve lost.”
Anna Franklin Johnson agreed that driving under the influence is dangerous.
“Definitely shouldn’t be driving if you are altered,” she said. “Just the same as alcohol.”
The device could be used by law enforcement and commercial use by this winter.
This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding its message about impaired driving to include drugs.
“Police conducting traffic stops tell us that they’re seeing more and more drivers under the influence of drugs,” NHTSA Executive Director Jack Danielson said. “It’s also what we’re seeing in the data: the number of drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for marijuana doubled from 2007-15.
“New ads will remind drivers that it’s illegal to drive impaired by any substance, regardless of whether its sale is legal in your community or it was legally prescribed. As the ad says, ‘If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.’”