Driving While High: A Connecticut Perspective
Within the next few months, cannabis will be available for sale at retail marijuana stores in Connecticut, just like alcohol or any other legal substance. Similar to alcohol, cannabis has impairment properties which lead users to experience a high.
Testing for impairment from marijuana is very difficult, as discussed in many previous blog posts. Additionally, marijuana affects each user differently, and even affects individuals differently day to day. This problem makes it very difficult for states and enforcement to impose and enforce limits on safe levels for driving.
In an interview between Mike Hydeck and Len Besthoff, Connecticut Chief Investigator, they discuss various testing methods, such as urine and blood, and the problems with each. For example, “you could have had some sort of cannabis a month ago still in your system and it had nothing to do with your driver impairment.”
Connecticut has decided to move forward with the testing problem with “Drug Recognition Experts” who are a “growing fleet…that are going to be out there with respect to police departments.” If they determine someone to be impaired from marijuana, “they bring you to a controlled situation after you've been arrested where there's one of these drug recognition experts who tries to determine that.”
Additionally, in Connecticut, while passengers are allowed to drink, “you cannot ingest, inhale or in any way smoke cannabis in a vehicle.” This article was meant to highlight the differences between state laws on marijuana usage, as well as how challenging it is to test for marijuana impairment.
To remedy this problem, Otorize offers a 5-second, app-based impairment test. Simply open the app and take the test in order to make sure you are safe to drive. Otorize could also be an additional measure for law enforcement to use while testing drivers for cannabis impairment.