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How This App Can Help Test Cannabis Impairment In Drivers

A psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts says he’s developed a tablet-based app that can help determine cannabis impairment in drivers. Now, he’s trying to get it into the hands of law enforcers.

Developer Michael Milburn says DRUID, an acronym for driving under the influence of drugs, asks users to complete a range of tasks in five minutes. Tasks include tapping the screen in certain places when they see different shapes, stopping a clock after 60 seconds have passed, following a moving circle on the screen with a finger and standing on one leg with the tablet in one hand.

While Milburn hasn’t published any peer-reviewed studies on its effectiveness, he said the app has been tested with cannabis-impaired subjects and he was able to track impairment scores as they climb and decrease. 

“I could see marijuana legalization was coming eventually. Prior to now, people had no way to really know if they were impaired or not. One of my hopes in this is to create a responsible community of drug users,” Milburn told The Boston Globe.

DRUID is intended to fill the gap made by both the lack of devices for testing cannabis impairment and a lack of an accepted standard, like the .08 blood alcohol content level used when determining whether a motorist is drunk.

However, Christine Cunneen of Hire Image, a Rhode Island provider of drug testing services to employers, told the Boston Globe that chemical testing will come before something like DRUID is adopted by law enforcement.

“That’s the way it’s always been,” she said. “There will be chemical testing that comes out, and to me, that’s more accurate.”

DRUID costs 99 cents to download and versions for both iPhone and Android will be available in coming months.

h/t The Boston Globe 


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