Marijuana Breathalyzer Tests to Hit the Market in 2020


Minnesota has very strict laws about the cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana. As of 2019, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance that is permitted solely for the treatment of qualifying chronic medical conditions, in which it can only be used in pill or liquid form (no smoking) with a prescription from a doctor.

Per state law, possessing more than 42.5 grams could result in a felony charge, while possessing one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance, such as a THC vapor, can result in a gross misdemeanor charge. Additionally, possessing just over 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle could result in a misdemeanor charge. With the new breathalyzer tests, drivers operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana can be charged with a DWI and suffer all DWI related consequences. While what constitutes “impairment” from marijuana use is under great debate, charges alleging impairment are filed routinely. The introduction of a new breathalyzer test could cause an uptick in charges for marijuana related offenses.

Marijuana Breathalyzer Tests Could Lead to More Prosecutions

Hound Labs is currently developing a dual breathalyzer test that is scheduled to hit the streets next fall or winter. According to their website, this breathalyzer is intended to be used by law enforcement, employers and for insurance purposes. This product is a roadside breathalyzer test that can help police determine if a driver has consumed alcohol prior to driving or if the driver consumed THC within the preceding three hours. Last August, the company announced that it had secured over $30 million dollars in donations to accelerate the manufacturing and commercial availability of this product.

A Canadian company, SannTek, is competing to release a similar test, but focusing on its “benefits” to the workforce. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, Noah Debrincat, a nontechnology engineer with SannTek, explained that there is a high demand for this product. He stated that tests can show if an employee had smoked weed a month before testing.

Both companies are planning to market their products to ensure sober driving and on-the-job safety. These products are likely to undergo further testing as they are a first-of-their-kind device. At present, many police agencies are taking a noncommittal wait-and-see approach when it comes to purchasing and utilizing these tests. But, this stance could easily change by 2020. For this reason, the criminal defense attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. are keeping a close eye on this matter, and devising litigation strategies for when these products are released next year. Devices used to test the presence of alcohol and controlled substances must be accurate and reliable to produce evidence in a court of law.

Facing Misdemeanor or Felony Drug Charges? Call Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. Today!

Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. if you’re facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges involving the possession or sale of marijuana. Our renown legal team has over 100 years of collective litigation experience and a comprehensive understanding of state and federal drug laws. As a criminal defense firm, we are dedicated to ensuring justice and protecting the rights of our clients. Call today to learn how we can help you pursue a charge reduction, acquittal, or case dismissal.

We’re available to you 24/7. Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to arrange a free and confidential case evaluation today.

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