Examine the Feasibility of a Field Test for Marijuana Impairment: Laboratory Evaluations

Police officers often use roadside tests to determine alcohol impairment as part of Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired (DWI) arrests. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which is used widely today, assists officers in determining whether the Blood Alcohol Concentration of a person stopped for suspicion of DWI is above or below .08 grams per deciliter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is examining the feasibility of a standardized field test for marijuana impairment in stages. NHTSA previously completed a project to gather, evaluate, and interpret recent literature on tests of impairment from marijuana or other drugs. A number of different tests were reviewed, including tests of cognitive ability, behavioral tests, tests of physical capability, physiological tests, and driving skills tests. This project covers the laboratory evaluation of tests within the above domains that NHTSA selects. The results of the laboratory tests will determine whether NHTSA will move forward to field testing. The Contractor shall carry out laboratory-controlled evaluations to assess the accuracy, feasibility, and utility of individual tests, and potential combinations of tests, to work towards the development of a standardized battery to determine whether a person has recently used marijuana. A complex issue that needs to be thoroughly discussed is defining “impairment” and how that will be quantified and/or scored with individual tests and/or combinations of tests. It is expected that testing will include dosing subjects with marijuana, and performing the selected tests. As such, the contractor shall discuss all issues involved with testing subjects with cannabis, including human subjects and legal issues.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $742,046
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590

      Office of Behavioral Safety Research

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, District of Columbia  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Smither, Dereece

    • Performing Organizations:

      Yale University

      New Haven, CT  United States 
    • Start Date: 20160930
    • Expected Completion Date: 20231231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Drug Impaired Driving

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01629744
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2216C00022
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 23 2017 4:13PM