DENVER (CBS4)– Law enforcement who try to catch people driving while high on marijuana have a problem because they don’t have a breathalyzer to uncover it during a traffic stop.

Currently police use blood or urine tests to measure the THC in someone’s system but those tests only reveal if marijuana has been used in recent days or weeks, not actual impairment.

The Oakland-based company Hound Labs, working in conjunction with scientists at UC Berkeley, announced Wednesday they’ve developed technology for a handheld breathalyzer for marijuana. The device is destined for roadside use by law enforcement agencies to determine exactly someone’s THC level at the time.

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“That’s where the alcohol standards came from. You had a certain amount of alcohol on your breath and this is what happened when you drove a car. Those same standards need to be developed for THC so that we focus just on the stoned drivers and leave everybody else alone,” said Hound Labs CEO Mike Lynn.

Hound Labs says the cost of each device will be about $1,000, the same price as the average alcohol breathalyzer.


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