Is that pot on your breath?

(KHQ) – Researchers in Washington State are working on a breathalyzer that can detect THC and other chemicals surprisingly, its technology that is already in place at airports across the nation.

Professor Herbert Hill and one graduate student are working to get a device to detect THC in a person’s system

“What we think we can do in the really near future is detect drugs in breath, not just THC but other kinds of drugs as well.”

You may have seen this drug detecting technology before…

“When you get your hands swiped at the airports or your brief case swiped at the airports and they go behind this instrument that sits on a desk that is an ion mobility spectrometer.”

Hill hopes the breathalyzer will cut down on deaths caused by car crashes.

“What we have done in the state of Washington, we’ve legalized marihuana and we’ve privatized alcohol. Both of these things move towards more problems with driving under the intoxication and it’s going to make it more and more difficult for us to reach our goal, the states goal of zero fatalities.”

So far the breathalyzer cannot give an officer the exact amount of THC in the body but it could confirm if it’s there at all

“It will be data that the policeman uses to help him make a better decision or help her make a better decision and reduce the number of false arrests that they make,”

Even if police do start using THC breathalyzers, it might be a while before police could use them as evidence in court.

Professor Hill says that it might take up until June before he can get a prototype ready.


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