Drug-impaired driving is a growing problem as the United States and Canada continue down a path toward legalizing medical and recreational cannabis. Without a reliable roadside breathalyzer, law enforcement officials are limited to pushing for invasive blood work or simply relying on public education programs to curb the problem. The good news is that Cannabix Technologies is rapidly developing a breathalyzer solution to address these concerns.
Drug-impaired driving is a growing problem throughout North America. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drugs were present in 43% of fatally-injured drivers with known test results, more frequently than alcohol was present. Roadside surveys confirmed these trends with 22% of drivers testing positive for some drug or medication, including 12.1-15.2% testing positive for illicit drugs like marijuana.
In experimental settings, marijuana impairs psychomotor skills and cognitive functions associated with driving, including vigilance, time and distance perception, lane tracking, motor coordination, divided attention tasks, and reaction time. Drivers may also attempt to compensate by driving more slowly and increasing their following distance, which can cause many different traffic problems, including traffic delays and ancillary crashes.
Crash risks are best estimated with epidemiological studies that use real-world data and control for other factors like time of day or the driver’s age. These studies have shown a 25% to 36% increase in crash risk, while the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there is “substantial evidence” of a statistical association between cannabis use and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes after a comprehensive review of studies.
Many lawmakers are concerned about drugged driving gave the increasing prevalence and lack tools to detect and prosecute offenders. In addition to the lack of a roadside tools, marijuana’s impact on driving performance depends on an individual metabolism and other factors, which makes it difficult to prove impairment in court. So-called driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) laws also tend to vary widely between jurisdictions.
Cannabix Technologies is developing a cannabis breathalyzer based on mass spectrometry. Using its patented FAIMS technology, the device incorporates real-time breath analysis for the detection of THC in human breath. In late-July, the company announced
In late-July, the company announced development of its Beta 3.0 marijuana breathalyzer that will include a conventional rechargeable battery, improved ion flow, and the latest pulse driver chips to improve resolution and sensitivity.
The new design also includes a heat exchanger technology to stabilize breath temperature; an improved dielectric barrier discharge ionization source; and, a high-voltage square wave generator that offers superior voltage shielding.
Source: CFN Media Group