How Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Performed in Pennsylvania?

How Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Performed in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Marijuana DUIs

A number of cities in Pennsylvania have decriminalized the use of marijuana, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal. Driving under the influence of marijuana is completely different and viewed as impaired motoring. A driver who tests positive for any amount at all can end up being charged with DUI, even if you have a prescription for it from your doctor to treat your medical condition because Pennsylvania is a no-tolerance state.

Travis Law: Criminal Charge Defense

When you’ve been charged with a marijuana DUI, having the right representation can make all the difference. The Travis Law Firm can help when you call us at (814) 277-2222. In times of need, we are here to help you defend your rights. For a free case review, contact us today.

What Kinds of Tests Can Tell if the Driver Has Used Marijuana?

There are various ways of detecting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including a new Breathalyzer test designed specifically for marijuana and blood testing. Some police in Pennsylvania use certified drug recognition experts (DREs) who have been trained to detect when someone has been using marijuana or other types of drugs.

How Does a DRE Determine Whether a Suspect Has Used Marijuana?

In Pennsylvania, there are 12 steps used by DREs to determine if the driver is impaired by marijuana or one of six other drugs. The following process is employed to make that determination:

  • A Breathalyzer test is performed to begin the process. If the impairment of the driver is not consistent with the results, a DRE is called in.
  • The DRE looks over the results and discusses them with the officer.
  • The suspect is questioned and observed for certain indications that the driver may have been using drugs or suffers from a medical condition.
  • A Vertical Gaze Nystagmus (VGN) examination is performed.
  • Four tests are performed by the suspect: the one-leg stand, modified Romberg balance, finger to nose and walk and turn.
  • The pulse, blood pressure and temperature of the suspect are taken.
  • The subject’s pupils are checked to see if they are normal.
  • Muscle tone is checked.
  • The pulse is checked again, and the DRE looks for injection sites.
  • A statement is taken from the subject, and they are read their Miranda Rights.
  • The DRE reaches an opinion based on the testing.
  • A toxicological exam is ordered.

Although there are a number of steps in the procedures to identify whether a driver has used marijuana, there are also many areas where errors can occur. Testing may be faulty. Problems can occur with the Breathalyzer. The subject may have a medical condition or other concerns affecting accurate testing. It’s a long list. 

Travis Law Firm: When You Face a DUI Marijuana Charge

DUI marijuana charges can change your life without the right representation and not for the better. You can schedule a free review of your case with the Travis Law Firm at (814) 277-2222 to see how we can help. You can also contact us online.