Driving under the influence of marijuana
Wisconsin officials are preparing themselves for drugged drivers because of Michigan. Michigan is now the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Since it borders Wisconsin, those communities along the border might be affected with drivers under the influence. Officials are preparing themselves for this type of impaired driving.
Wisconsin Police say that driving under the influence is becoming just as prominent as drinking and driving lately. As law enforcement sees an increase in drugged driving, it’s more important to train officers to look for drivers under the influence of marijuana. Michigan marijuana dispensaries and shops are expected to open by early 2020. This means that Wisconsin officers will want to be well trained by then especially since tourists will also make the drive for a visit.
But how exactly do they train police to detect marijuana-impaired drivers?
In Spring 2018, drug recognition experts (DREs) worked with law enforcement in select Wisconsin counties so that officers can also be certified DREs. It was a funded program that allowed officers to bring in volunteers from Michigan who have smoked pot in order to study the signs of impairment. Before being DRE certified, officers must go through two very demanding phases of training: the academic training phase and the field certification phase.
The goal of the program was to teach police to recognize signs and symptoms of impairment from the seven drug categories using a 12-step evaluation process. There were several topics that the program reviewed to help observe signs of drug impairment:
- psychophysical testing
- clinical indicators
- pupil size/reaction to drug use
- pulse rate
- blood pressure
- body temperature
- pharmacology of drugs/use
So, how can an officer tell if a driver is driving under the influence of marijuana?
This seems like a fairly new concept police. As more and more states start to legalize recreational marijuana, driving under the influence of pot will become a bigger problem. It’s best to train police now for these signs. However, it can be difficult because marijuana impairment varies by each person. But one of the major signs that everyone generally seems to have is impairment of their pupils.
- Pulsating pupils
- Extremely dilated pupils
- Unequal pupils