Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

Finding a test to measure marijuana impairment

While New York is one of the states that has legalized medical marijuana, there is still no scientifically accurate test to ascertain whether a person is too impaired to drive. There are a number of hurdles to developing such a test. One of the major ones is that unlike alcohol, THC does not act in a predictable way in the human body. Its effects differ from person to person, and there is no reliable measure of THC that corresponds to dangerous impairment.

However, according to the Automobile Association of America's Foundation for Traffic Safety, marijuana-related traffic fatalities doubled in Washington state after the drug was legalized there. The organization recommends that rather than focusing on legal limits, the identification of impaired drivers should shift to establishing when marijuana was used and how the driver is behaving.

Meanwhile, companies are racing to develop tests that can instantly detect THC levels. One says that it has developed a device similar to a Breathalyzer that is expected to sell for between $500 and $1,000, but it still has to be tested. Furthermore, even if it is accurate, there still has not been a reliable correlation established between THC levels and driver impairment.

Charges for driving under the influences of drugs are just as serious as those for drunk driving. Penalties may include license suspension, jail time and fines. People who are facing these charges might want to consider a plea bargain in which they plead guilty to reduced charges. This usually results in a lighter sentence. However, they might also want to work with their attorney to challenge the results of a test or an officer's account of what occurred during a traffic stop.

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