According to a roadside survey conducted in Washington State, 14.1% of drivers with children in the car—nearly one in seven—tested positive for THC, the principal psychoactive compound in marijuana. The results are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Because detecting THC in blood or saliva does not correspond to impairment as does a positive alcohol test, it’s unclear if these drivers were actively impaired by THC. Nonetheless, the study sheds light on the potential for increased impaired driving, and the risks for children, for states considering legalizing marijuana, and the need for better roadside testing for THC.
“Currently, there are a number of different tests being developed and validated to detect whether drugs are present, including saliva and even breath tests for THC,” according to study coauthor Angela Eichelberger, Ph.D., from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety….