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Sobriety testing may shift to determining impairment using artificial intelligence

MATTHEW BOHLSEN | JANUARY 13, 2020 | 1 COMMENT


Society is used to using traditional testing measures to test alcohol impairment. While these mostly work well for alcohol, the problem is that conventional testing does not work well for cannabis. This is because THC levels have generally been found to have no correlation with impairment.

Research reports and real cases are showing elevated THC levels don’t necessarily mean impairment


A May 2019 Congressional Research service report titled ‘Marijuana Use and Highway Safety’ states: Research studies have been unable to consistently correlate levels of marijuana consumption, or THC in a person’s body, and levels of impairment. Thus some researchers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date. 6 year British Columbia study found no increase in crash risk in drivers with THC<5ng/ml A University of British Columbia 6 year study in the journal Addiction on the likelihood of crash responsibility by drivers who tested positive for intoxicating substances, including THC, concluded: “In this multi-site observational study of non-fatally injured drivers, we found no increase in crash risk, after adjustment for age, sex, and use of other impairing substances, in drivers with THC<5ng/ml….For drivers with THC>5ng/ml there may be an increased risk of crash responsibility, but this result was statistically non-significant and further study is required. …Our findings … suggest that the impact of cannabis on road safety is relatively small at present time.”

The Michelle Gray case in Nova Scotia


Given the evidence against THC causing impairment, the implications are profound. Police and courts are confused by cases where cannabis testing is positive, yet sobriety testing is negative. Michelle Gray, a medical marijuana user, had her license suspended after a positive saliva test for cannabis, even though she passed a police-administered sobriety test the same night. Subsequently, Canadian police apologized to her for incorrectly suspending her licence for a week.

The State Of Michigan does not use THC levels to determine impairment Sobriety testing for cannabis comes under question. State of Michigan officials decided not to set a THC level in blood or saliva to constitute impairment when driving. This is in recognition of numerous research studies showing very low or no correlation between THC level and impairment. Given cannabis is increasingly being legalized, the issue is becoming very important –  how to accurately test drivers to detect impairment?

Artificial Intelligence using voice and facial recognition to detect impairment To help solve this problem one Canadian company has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to specifically test for impairment – whether it be from alcohol or cannabis or any other substances. These tests are non-invasive and can be done by law enforcement or at work.

Cultivar Holdings Inc.’ (CSE: CULT) subsidiary Predict MEDiX has developed sobriety or impairment testing based on face and voice recognition using AI. Their AI testing works to detect any type of impairment no matter the cause. Predict MEDiX has signed a JV agreement with Tech Mahindra, a multibillion dollar technology player ranked among top 15 IT companies globally, as well as with Hindalco. One of the world’s largest aluminum players, Hindalco is part of the parent corporation Aditya Birla group, which has annual revenues exceeding US$44 billion.

Investors can read more about Cultivator Holdings here


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