Although alcohol is removed from a person’s bloodstream and body reasonably quickly, that is not the situation with other drugs. The “psychedelic” element, THC, contained in marijuana, is evident for over a month after it has been used. Because of the lengthy amount of time THC can remain in the system, there is no definitive way to detect impairment at a precise point in time.

In comparison, cocaine, is usually out of the body within a day or two. Thus, its presence can be a better indicator that a person is operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

Elevated Crash Risks and Drug Recognition Experts
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration surrendered in communications to Congress that the present knowledge of drugs besides alcohol makes it impractical to precisely determine when raised levels of these substances cause a higher accident risk for a motorist. Because of this, some districts use “Drug Recognition Experts.” These are specifically trained police officers that are advanced in their ability to determine drug impairment in motorists. These officers are trained to closely survey a person’s behavior, eye mobility and other factors suggestive of drug influence. Over forty states including the District of Columbia have created Drug Evaluation and Classification Programs to educate and equip these types of officers.

Legalized Marijuana and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
There are an increasing number of states and cities that have legalized both the use of marijuana for medical and recreational use. This revision in the laws across the United States, and in Colorado, pours into the need to establish other ways of determining if a motorist is impaired because of the use of a drug, including marijuana.

The education is likely to expand to other districts in the close immediate future. In addition, technology continues to advance in a way that is thought will make it straightforward for officers to determine if a motorist is impaired by marijuana at the time of citation or its presence in a person’s system is leftover from prior consumption.