Robert Bergman

May 9, 2019

Drug tests are frequently required in the event of accidents on the job, driving violations, suspected drug violations, and many other reasons. These tests are referred to as “on-cause” testing even though they often find drug test that occurred long before and is, thus, irrelevant to the particular incident. In some cases, those subjected to on-cause testing are permitted to choose the type of drug test they are given.

Blood test

Cannabis blood drug test

For marijuana users who are not actually under the influence at the time, asking for a blood test is probably the best course of action. This is because blood tests tend to register positive for THC for only an hour or two after use while urine tests, which measure accumulated metabolites, can register positive for several days. Conversely, if you have used marijuana recently (especially within the last few hours), it might be better to opt for a urine test. Despite the fact that you’re likely to test positive, you will, at the very least, be able to contest the results by saying you weren’t under the influence at the time. This, of course, would not be possible if they tested your blood and found THC in it. In addition, smoked marijuana can take as long as two hours to show up in urine, so it’s feasible that you might pass a test if you toked up just a few minutes prior. Blood THC levels are at their highest in the first couple of minutes after smoking.

Zero-tolerance marijuana laws

Zero-tolerance cannabis laws

Several states have passed zero-tolerance laws that make it illegal to drive with any detectable amount of marijuana in your system. These states include Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin along with numerous different European nations. If you are pulled over by the police in one of these states and then required to take a drug test, you run the risk of imprisonment and losing your license. To prevent this, avoid accidents and traffic violations to the best of your ability.

Police will commonly investigate minor traffic violators for driving under the influence. This is particularly common if you’re driving erratically or the police sniff out the scent of marijuana in your car. Generally, it’s difficult and time-consuming for the police to administer a drug test. Blood tests usually require a trip to the station to see a nurse. Thus, many officers will screen you for the signs of driving under the influence prior to deciding to have you tested.

On-cause testing

The most typical procedure is to examine your performance on a roadside field sobriety test. Three tests have been scientifically validated as adequate indicators of driving under the influence. If you get past them, you’ve got a better chance of avoiding arrest for DUI.

Cannabis DUI horizontal and vertical gaze nystagmusHorizontal and vertical gaze nystagmus
In this test, you are instructed to hold your head still and follow the police officer’s finger with your eyes as he moves it slowly back and forth in front of you. If your eye movements are spasmodic (a phenomenon called nystagmus) or you jerk your head, then you might be considered impaired. It’s virtually impossible to test yourself for nystagmus, although a friend can certainly help. In any event, the test is a better indicator of alcohol impairment than marijuana impairment.

Cannabis DUI walk and turnWalk and turn
In this test (also called tandem walking), you’re required to walk nine steps heel-to-toe in a straight line, turn back around, and walk nine steps in the opposite direction. If you fall off the line, lose your balance, or neglect to follow instructions properly, you’ll be considered impaired. Your performance on this test can be enhanced by practicing at home. This is true of most other motor performance tests.

Cannabis DUI one leg standingOne leg standing
In this test, you are required to stand on a single leg for 30 seconds with the other leg stretched straight out in front of you six inches off the ground. Losing your balance, hopping, and putting your foot on the ground are all signs of impairment. This is perhaps the best and most sensitive motor test for marijuana impairment, but it’s also easy to perform on yourself.

In fact, you can figure out whether you’re fit to drive by performing the one-leg standing test. Some individuals might have trouble with it when completely sober and they might be susceptible to arrest for an unwarranted DUI. Most people, though, have no trouble with the one-leg standing test unless they are stoned or drunk. It’s best to avoid driving when you can’t perform the test.

You can also test your impairment by taking stock of your own subjective state of mind. If you find yourself incapable of concentrating, losing track of conversations, or forgetting where you are on the road, you are too stoned to drive. One easy test of your concentration ability is to count backwards from 100 in serial “3’s” or “7’s”—i.e. 100-97-94-91-88-85 and so on or 100-93-86-79-72 and so on. Of course, some people can do this far better than others, but virtually everyone can distinguish between doing it sober or stoned.

One final cautionary note: driving an automobile is statistically the single most dangerous task a person will do in their lifetime (excepting some daredevil-like feats such as climbing Mount Everest). Throughout the course of the Vietnam War, more American citizens were killed on our own highways than in the jungles of Vietnam. We leave you with that to contemplate.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.


The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


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  1. By Jim

    ,21 Aug 2017
    I have never been able to do the one-leg or the walk a line. Probably due to thin calf muscles. I was on a jury and the prosecutor made the mistake of telling us to go back and have one […]Read More

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