Researchers Claim to Have Developed Marijuana Breathalyzer

Posted by Doug Murphy | Oct 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

After years of development, researchers with the University of Pittsburgh have announced the development of a marijuana breathalyzer. If this device becomes accepted by the courts, it could have a significant impact on the rates of DWI drug charges. 

The device operates like a standard breathalyzer. The subject simply breathes into the device, which gives the operator a reading. Instead of detecting alcohol on your breath, this device claims to detect THC – the psychoactive component in marijuana. 

The Drive to Discover a Marijuana Breathalyzer

There has long been talk among law enforcement regarding the need for a marijuana breathalyzer. To date, there has been no accurate method to identify if a person was currently under the influence of marijuana. 

The process is complicated in part by the fact that evidence of marijuana stays in the body well after the effects have work off. In many cases, a positive result materializes from drug use weeks before the arrest. 

The growing trend of legalizing marijuana has not helped the problem. In many states, ingesting THC is no longer illegal. This makes past marijuana use worth very little at trial. 

Development of the Marijuana Breathalyzer Device

The developers of the device were inspired in 2016 by the wide-spread repeal of criminal punishment for marijuana use. A chemistry professor and an electrical engineering processor teamed up to take the project on to build a prototype. 

The device employs nanotechnology. Sensors combine to form the most powerful THC sensors outside of a laboratory setting. According to researchers, the results of these roadside tests are every bit as accurate as the mass spectrometry readings used to identify THC in a laboratory setting. It remains to be seen if this scientific breakthrough serves its intended purpose reliably or not. 

Consequences of a Texas Marijuana DWI

While the technology surrounding marijuana use continues to grow, Texas law is not waiting for that day to come. Law enforcement regularly makes arrests for anyone involved in a crash that exhibits evidence of marijuana intoxication. Officers can employ a drug recognition expert in order to make a case that the driver is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. 

Penalties include:

Contact a Houston DWI Defense Attorney

The consequences related to a DWI drugs conviction can be severe. Thankfully, an arrest alone is not the same thing as a conviction. With the help of a skilled Houston criminal defense attorney, you may be able to beat the charges against you

Attorney Doug Murphy is a Board Certified expert in DWI defense law as well as criminal defense law. In fact, he is one of only two attorneys in the entire state that can claim such a distinction. To discuss your case with a compassionate, experienced defense attorney, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today. 

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

If you are facing DWI or other criminal charges in Texas, contact our office today to discuss your case, so we can begin working on your defense. Please provide only your personal email and cell phone number so that we can immediately and confidentially communicate with you.