New Test Can Determine Marijuana DUI

When a person arrested for a DUI in Rhode Island is under the influence of alcohol, police officers can easily determine the degree of intoxication with a breathalyzer and BAC testing. However, it is not so simple when it comes to measuring how much marijuana affects an individual’s driving ability, since THC (active ingredient in marijuana) can stay in the bloodstream for a long period of time.

Alas, a new testing device was developed by researchers at Stanford University based on magnetic nanotechnology. Known as the “potalyzer,” the mobile device uses magnetic biosensors to detect minuscule THC molecules in saliva.

To administer the test, law enforcement could collect a spit sample using a cotton swab. The test kit mixes the saliva with THC antibodies, which bind to any THC molecules in the sample. The police officer would then place the sample on a disposable chip cartridge and place it into a handheld reader. The reader would calculate the THC level and send the results via Bluetooth to the officer’s cellphone or computer.

There is no timetable available for when this test will be available for use.

RI Marijuana DUI

In Rhode Island, any amount of marijuana that is in a driver’s blood or urine while driving will make him or her subject for arrest. Penalties include a maximum jail sentence of 1 year, a fine of between $100 and $300, between 30 and 180 days of driver’s license suspension, and between 10 and 60 hours of community service. The only exception to this is if the person subject to arrest is a valid medical marijuana patient.

If you have been arrested for a DUI on marijuana in Rhode Island, request a free consultation with The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian today.