When a New Hampshire police officer makes a traffic stop, the driver in question may be asked to step out of the vehicle, especially if the patrol officer suspects that he or she is impaired. Most people are, at least, somewhat familiar with field sobriety tests, which police often use to determine if they have probable cause to make a DUI arrest. However, there are also devices today that can be used to detect marijuana on a person’s breath as opposed to a traditional Breathalyzer device that tests for alcohol.
Marijuana breath device determines when the drug was smoked
A device that detects the presence of marijuana on a person’s breath can do a lot more than identify the presence of the drug. It can also determine the time frame within which the person being tested likely smoked the drug. This information could prompt a traffic officer to arrest a driver for suspected impairment.
Other tests during a traffic stop
A person who has been asked to exit his or her vehicle during a traffic stop might also be asked to take a field sobriety test. Such tests often include a walk-and-turn test, one-leg stance test or horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is a test to observe the eye movement when a person is tracking an object without using his or her head. If a police officer issues a failing score to a driver who has taken a sobriety test, it does not necessarily mean the police officer suspects alcohol consumption. He or she might suspect that the driver is high on marijuana.
An arrest does not automatically lead to conviction
A New Hampshire driver, like any other person charged with a crime, is guaranteed an opportunity to refute impaired driving charges in court. If such charges include “driving under the influence of marijuana,” it is a good idea to request legal representation from an attorney who is experienced in drug-related litigation. There are often several steps an attorney can take to help a defendant mitigate his or her circumstances; in fact, an attorney is sometimes able to get a case dismissed, especially if a person’s rights were violated during the arrest process.