Drug impaired driving is a significant problem and there is a growing concern regarding the ability to accurately detect cannabis use in drivers for traffic safety enforcement. The THC level in the blood peaks within 30 minutes of smoking cannabis and is detectable with current roadside devices for approximately two hours, while the impairing effects of the drug may last for several hours.
The legalization of recreational cannabis use has further increased the urgent need for a rapid, reliable, non-invasive roadside test that can detect low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, on the breath or in the saliva of a driver. Presently, approximately 24% of drivers report driving within two hours of consumption and with increased accessibility of cannabis through legalization, this alarming statistic will certainly increase.
Alcohol Countermeasure Systems group of scientists have worked with universities in Canada to sponsor research and development of a roadside test that could quickly and reliably detect drugs on the breath or in the saliva of a driver. With this most recent research, ACS, worked in partnership with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Calgary to demonstrate a novel drug detection method where THC is infused into carbon paper electrodes followed by electrochemical detection in an aqueous solution. This work illustrates a novel, reproducible, and sensitive method for the analysis of THC and oxidation properties of its common metabolites that could be adopted for use with human saliva samples and was published in Electrochimica Acta in March, 2019.
According to Felix J.E. Comeau, President & CEO of ACS, “Having successfully developed a technological solution to prevent alcohol impaired driving, the ALCOLOCK alcohol ignition interlock, ACS has worked closely with legislators, regulators, as well as research and advocacy institutions for many decades to improve road safety. This continued investment with leading Canadian universities will enable us to leverage research and introduce new products to support changing legislation and tools for law enforcement agencies”.
Alcohol Countermeasure Systems, is an international group of companies with over 40 years of experience developing innovative technology to prevent impaired driving. A technology leader and manufacturer of alcohol ignition interlocks and breath alcohol testers, ACS provides products and services to law enforcement, automotive, industrial, public and personal safety markets. We improve global road safety through innovative design, manufacturing and customer support services.
Research Abstract – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013468619303871?via%3Dihub