Blood alcohol content serves as a determining factor when police decide whether or not to charge someone with DUI in Los Angeles. If a breathalyzer and/or blood test shows a reading of .08 or higher, the driver will likely face a charge of driving under the influence.
But a May 10th article in the Washington Post highlights the subtle challenges of evaluating whether or not a driver is operating under the influence of marijuana. Pot doesn’t show up in a breathalyzer test, and measuring the THC content in the blood doesn’t give an accurate picture of whether or not someone can drive safely.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that states take a different approach. Instead of setting legal limits for THC in the bloodstream, states should train certain police officers for certification as drug recognition experts (DRE). Then, when a DUI suspect shows signs of marijuana use, these specially trained officers would conduct an hour-long series of tests to confirm (or refute) that suspicion. Only then would they administer a blood test to determine the level of THC content in the suspect’s bloodstream.