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Can I Test My Own THC Levels before Driving?

In a recent collaboration, the Colorado Department of Transportation joined forces with BACtrack, the developer of breathalyzers, to investigate the impact of providing free breathalyzers to Coloradans on reducing instances of drinking and driving. The success of this initiative, as detailed in our previous blog post, prompted us to delve into another crucial question: with the ease of testing blood alcohol content (BAC) at home, is there a similar solution for individuals concerned about THC levels in their bloodstream?

The Challenge of Marijuana Testing in Colorado Drivers

Colorado imposes a strict limit of five nanograms per milliliter of blood for THC concentration, beyond which an individual is presumed to be impaired. However, the challenge lies in the variability of THC levels based on an individual’s frequency and quantity of marijuana consumption. For frequent smokers, the THC concentration could exceed the legal limit hours, or even days, after smoking. In contrast, occasional smokers might be able to consume marijuana shortly before driving without surpassing the five-nanogram threshold. Given these complexities, a reliable device to self-test THC levels could prove invaluable for individuals aiming to avoid DUI-D (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs).

Regrettably, no such device currently exists for measuring personal THC levels. Law enforcement relies on blood draws for accurate measurements, and unless you possess the equipment available to scientists and doctors, it is advisable to be aware of your limits and allow sufficient time to pass before operating a vehicle. While the future may hold promise for cannabis users, with the potential development of weed breathalyzers and roadside saliva sample kits, the integration of such tools into smartphones remains a distant prospect.

Technological Advances on the Horizon

The quest for a user-friendly THC testing device has sparked interest in the scientific and technological communities. Researchers and innovators are exploring ways to create accessible and accurate solutions that empower individuals to monitor their THC levels responsibly. Imagine a future where a simple device akin to a breathalyzer allows cannabis users to gauge their impairment levels conveniently and without the need for specialized knowledge.

One promising avenue of development is the creation of THC breathalyzers. These devices aim to detect recent marijuana use by measuring the concentration of THC in a person’s breath. Although still in the early stages of development, these breathalyzers could potentially provide a non-invasive and quick method for individuals to assess their impairment level before getting behind the wheel.

Additionally, researchers are exploring the feasibility of roadside saliva sample kits designed for on-the-spot THC testing. These kits could offer a practical and portable solution for individuals seeking to ensure they are within legal limits before operating a vehicle. While the technology is not yet widely available, the potential benefits for public safety are significant.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the promise of emerging technologies, several challenges must be overcome before THC testing devices become commonplace. Scientific validation, regulatory approval, and widespread adoption are critical steps in the journey toward making these tools readily available to the public. Additionally, addressing concerns related to user privacy and ensuring the accuracy of these devices under various conditions are paramount considerations.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of marijuana legalization and its implications for road safety, it is essential to stay informed about advancements in THC testing technologies. Responsible consumption, paired with the eventual accessibility of reliable testing tools, could play a pivotal role in reducing instances of impaired driving and promoting safer roadways.


In conclusion, while the current absence of personal THC testing devices may limit immediate options for cannabis users, the ongoing research and development in this field offer hope for a future where individuals can take proactive measures to ensure they are fit to drive. As we await the fruition of these advancements, it remains crucial to prioritize safety, adhere to legal regulations, and advocate for responsible cannabis use in our communities.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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