Can Law Enforcement Detect Marijuana Use With a DWI Test?
In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) field tests consist of a police officer testing a driver's coordination, reflexes and cognitive capabilities. Field sobriety tests for drunk driving may include a driver being asked to count to 100 while standing on one leg or walking (toe to heel) a straight line without losing their balance. Another type of DWI test involves the driver keeping their eyes directly on a penlight as a police officer moves the penlight back and forth horizontally. The penlight test lets a police officer determine if eye movements are jerky enough to indicate alcohol intoxication.
If an officer thinks a driver is indeed driving while intoxicated, the officer may administer a breathalyzer test or ask the driver to submit to a urine or blood sample. Refusing to agree to a DWI test could result in the driver losing their license.
Marijuana "intoxication" may or may not be detected during a field sobriety test (FST) for alcohol intoxication. While marijuana does impair cognition and coordination, a driver could manage to pass a FST depending on how much THC they have in their system. In addition, breathalyzers are designed to detect alcohol only, not marijuana. However, a saliva or blood serum test can determine if THC molecules are active and present in a driver's body. Also, police officers are well aware of physical irregularities affecting someone who has been using marijuana. Bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, dilated pupils and slowed speech are classic signs of marijuana intoxication--and they know it.
Why You Need a Lawyer If You Have Been Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
If a police-ordered blood or urine test indicated you had THC in your body at the time a police officer pulled you over, call Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC immediately to schedule a confidential and free consultation. We may be able to help you beat that charge in court.
Unlike alcohol, which is eliminated by the body within 12 to 24 hours, THC concentrates in fat tissues where it can remain for as long as seven to 10 days. If you are pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving and are eventually charged with a marijuana DWI, we may be able to prove you were not impaired at the time you were stopped.
Call 817-502-3600 today to talk to a criminal defense attorney who will provide experienced representation during your marijuana DWI case.