Examine the Feasibility of a Field Test for Marijuana Impairment: Literature Review

Roadside tests of alcohol impairment are often used by police officers as part of Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired (DWI) arrests. These tests serve to confirm the initial suspicion of alcohol impairment and may provide probable cause to arrest the driver for DWI. The driver's performance on these tests is also a critical part of the evidence presented in court to support the DWI charge. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which is widely used 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. There is not currently a similar test for roadside to determine whether a driver is impaired by any drug other than alcohol. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA’s) 2007 National Roadside Survey found that 16.3 % of weekend nighttime drivers were positive for a drug. The most prevalent drug was marijuana at 8.6%. Given the incidence of marijuana-positive drivers, and current interest in marijuana use, NHTSA is interested in exploring the feasibility of a standardized test battery for roadside use for detecting marijuana impairment in drivers. The battery could include cognitive, behavioral physical capability, physiological tests, or driving skills tests. This project will assist NHTSA in moving forward in examining the feasibility of a standardized battery for marijuana. This project will expand a previous in-house literature review, synthesize the information and provide recommendations as to the methodology for laboratory testing of potential tests. This project will not involve laboratory or field testing.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • No technical report.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $106,169
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Smither, Dereece

  • Performing Organizations:

    Preusser Research Group, Incorporated

    7100 Main Street
    Trumbull, CT  United States  06611
  • Start Date: 20140901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160901
  • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
  • Subprogram: Drug Impaired Driving

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01641215
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-11-D-00221-0002
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2017 9:19AM