How do the police know if you’re high when they pull you over?
When police suspect that a driver is intoxicated, the can conduct a breath test, get a reading and arrest that person if the breath test indicates that the driver’s blood-alcohol level is over .08. It’s not so easy, however, when police suspect someone of being impaired due to marijuana or another drug.
So, how can police tell if you’re high when they pull you over? Here are some common tactics:
- They may just ask you. You might be surprised by how many people will admit to drug use when an officer says something like, “You were weaving. Are you on any medication?” Admitting that you took over-the-counter cold meds before you got behind the wheel may seem harmless, but that kind of admission has led to arrests.
- They may look for subjective signs of drug use. While the odor of marijuana on your clothes doesn’t automatically mean you’re impaired, you can bet it will make an officer look harder at you, as will things like slurred speech, slow reaction times, poor motor control and reddened eyes.
- They may call out a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). These are officers who have undergone specific training designed to help police spot the physiological signs of drug use and symptoms of mental impairment caused by drug use. While DREs are still using subjective evidence, their opinion may be given more weight in court.
If you are arrested on suspicion of drugged driving, it is always in your interest to mount your strongest possible legal defense. Discuss you situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.