County using cannabis impairment detection tech

Warren County law enforcement is adding to its options for determining if drivers are impaired by marijuana.

On Thursday, District Attorney Rob Greene announced that the county is piloting the Gaize VR goggles rapid screening device.

“The goal is to keep Warren County citizens safe from impaired drivers,” Greene said of the efforts to test for impairment. “Marijuana use is here and has been for decades. Pennsylvania has legalized the medical use of marijuana and recreational adult use is right around the corner.”

“Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has legalized medical marijuana and more importantly, Warren County borders the State of New York which has legalized recreational use,” he said.

The Gaize device captures eye movements and analyzes data to “precisely detect the subtle eye movement changes that happen as a result of consuming drugs,” according to a release from Gaize.

Gaize devices have been delivered to Warren County and law enforcement are training on the use of the equipment, according to the release.

Gaize tests for impairment — not the presence of THC in the body.

According to the release, “in Pennsylvania, an individual cannot drive if there is any marijuana metabolite in their blood. Therefore, if an individual is completely sober, but legally used marijuana in the weeks prior to driving on PA roads, they are driving illegally according to PA law and can be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. This happens every day in Pennsylvania.”

“Cannabis is an incredibly challenging substance when compared to alcohol. The very long half-life in the body of THC and related metabolites is confounding to all chemical tests – only allowing for the discovery of prior use, not active impairment,” the release said. “Gaize on the other hand is only used to discover impairment as it’s happening, which is exactly what law enforcement and business leaders need to know.”

“We’re proud to be working with Warren County to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Gaize impairment screening solution,” Gaize CEO Ken Fichtler said. “We believe that the ability to quickly and accurately detect the signs of impairment from cannabis and other drugs solves a critical safety challenge.”

In November, Greene announced that county law enforcement would pilot the Cannabix breathalyzer, which tests whether the user has smoked marijuana in the past few hours.


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