With no standard way to test drivers for THC, suburban cops test an option

Illinois Recreational Marijuana
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CAROL STREAM, Ill. — Despite knowing recreational pot was becoming legal this year, police departments across the state do not yet have a roadside test similar to a breathalyzer that can check for THC in someone’s system.

Currently, the only sanctioned way for police to check if someone is under the influence of pot is to take blood and urine, send it to a lab at UIC and wait up to six months to get results. But the Carol Stream Police Department is currently the state’s only police department testing mobile detection machines that could be used during roadside stops.

Over the last six months to a year, Carol Stream Police Sargent Brian Cluever said they have been using a test that analyzes mouth swabs to test for THC. There’s a limit to THC content in your saliva, 10 nanograms.

Over the years, police say they have seen an increase in driving while under the influence of pot. With recreational pot legal, there’s a lot of concern within police departments across the state.

And then there are the people who are trying pot for the first time. Drug recognition expert Officer Robert Turnholt said users trying marijuana for the first time may not know, “how much more potent” it can be. Plus, edible forms of marijuana can be difficult to navigate.  Industry experts say to stay off the roads altogether when using marjiuana.

So far, Carol Stream has done 15 tests and is still waiting for some results. The results aren’t admissible in court yet, and it’s voluntary.

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