According to the Los Angeles Times, state officials in California proposed using new technology to catch the increasing number of motorists who are driving while high.
The California legislation would allow law enforcement officers to use oral swab tests to strengthen cases when there is probable cause that a driver is impaired and the driver has failed sobriety field tests.
A hand-held electronic device would test for the presence of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and pain medications, including opiates, on the swab, according to Republican Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas, who authored the bill.
California voters legalized medical use of marijuana in 1996. Between 2009-13, the number of drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for drugs increased by more than 40%. After Colorado voters legalized recreational use in 2013, marijuana-related traffic deaths there increased 32% in one year, according to a report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area enforcement initiative.
With marijuana legal in Washington State, this could potentially be a technology that will be implemented throughout Washington to decrease marijuana-related traffic deaths.
If you or someone you know have been stopped, questioned, or arrested for driving under the influence, the first call you should make is to a qualified DUI defense attorney. We are available 24/7 on our on-call attorney line at 253-691-4453.