Drivers in Texas and around the country are facing an increasing number of DWI citations for allegedly operating their vehicles under the influence of marijuana. Now, a company has announced that it has created a breathalyzer device that can measure the levels of THC in a driver's breath. THC is the main effective compound contained in marijuana. The company's CEO said that it created a portable device that meets forensic standards and said that it could be used by law enforcement to potentially detect intoxication.
According to the company, THC only remains in a driver's breath one or two hours after smoking marijuana, what the company called a "peak window" for impairment. After three hours, THC in the breath drops to zero. The device displays a warning if THC is found and declares a pass if it is not. Texas police have not yet discussed the use of such a device in potential marijuana DWI cases in the state. Police emphasized that because marijuana is still illegal in Texas, people can be arrested for the possession of any amount.
Even possession of a small amount of marijuana can lead to jail time in Texas; people with less than two ounces could serve up to six months in jail and be fined up to $2,000. In addition, extra penalties are imposed for the possession of other marijuana derivatives like hash oil; people could face felony charges and up to two years in prison for simple personal possession.
People who are accused of DWI for allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana could face serious charges and potential jail time. A criminal defense lawyer can work to challenge police and prosecution evidence in an attempt to obtain a favorable result.