Police develop and test marijuana breathalyzer

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BROOKVILLE, JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A new tool being developed and tested could help police learn if you’re driving under the influence of marijuana.

Police currently don’t have a tool that could instantly detect if a person is driving under the influence, instead, they have to rely on drug tests.

Police already carry alcohol breathalizers like this in their vehicles they could soon add another one like it to detect marijuana instead.

“If it checks out to do what they say it will, it will make our jobs a lot easier,” said Vince Markle: Brookville Police Chief.

Brookville Police Chief Vince Markle says this is a tool his department would definitely use.

Right now, if a person is suspected of driving high, police have to take that person to the hospital to get a urine, blood, or hair follicle test.

“Under the current Pa law, if you have any of that drug in your system, it’s a DUI. You could have someone who ingested it 30 days ago, and they’re not really under the influence,” said Markle.

Markle says the tool would recognize levels of THC in a person’s system.

He says this would be helpful in Brookville because a medical marijuana dispensary recently opened there.

“We’re getting a lot of people from out of town coming into our town for that reason. It would be very nice to have a piece of equipment to determine what levels they are at,” said Markle.

Right now the equipment is still being tested and developed, so it’s not in the hands of any local law enforcement.

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