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Oklahoma may be first to implement marijuana breathalyzers

A Massachusetts State Trooper holds a traditional alcohol breathalyzer at a sobriety check point operated jointly with the Chicopee Police in April 2011.
A Massachusetts State Trooper holds a traditional alcohol breathalyzer at a sobriety check point operated jointly with the Chicopee Police in April 2011.The Boston Globe/Boston Globe

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma could soon launch a pilot program to conduct marijuana breathalyzer tests to determine if drivers are under the influence.

The pilot program would consist of a breathalyzer test that can determine if a person has consumed cannabis within the last few hours. Currently, law enforcement can test for marijuana using a blood, urine, or hair sample but the substance that’s detected could be from days prior.

The state's Legislature passed a bill last week on the $300,000 project that could make Oklahoma one of the first states in the nation to use the new technology.

The Department of Public Safety will be required to establish rules and regulations to implement the pilot program, according to The Oklahoman. Under the pilot program, the results of a THC breathalyzer test would not be admissible in a court of law.

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Representative Scott Fetgatter said participation should be voluntary and test results should not be used in a punitive manner.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety said it could take up to a year for the pilot program to get off the ground.

The bill now awaits action from Governor Kevin Stitt.