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New DRUID app could help stop people from driving while impaired by marijuana

Posted at 8:06 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 11:41:05-04

Police think legalized usage of marijuana is too new for hard and fast rules about when you can and can't drive, but one researcher thinks differently.

"Marijuana doesn't have this set of rules that you can follow to make sure that you're not driving while impaired," said Troy Starr, a Henderson Police Department patrol officer and drug recognition expert.

The app is called DRUID. It costs 99 cents in the app store. It consists of simple tests for things like reaction time and balance.

The maker says you can use DRUID to help decide whether you should get behind the wheel.

"Police were saying there's no way to measure impairment and I've spent my career the last 40 years measuring things and I thought I can do that," said Michael Milburn, the app's developer.

The developer is a psychologist  He says you should test yourself when you're sober to get a baseline. Then, the more you use it, the more accurate it becomes.

It gives you a score from 0 to 100. A higher number indicates greater impairment. The maker says scores greater than 50 are significant.

13 Action News brought this app to Starr. His opinion was clear.

"I wouldn't trust my safety or the safety of the general public to an app like this," said Starr.

Of course, in court they need lab results to prove the extent of impairment. There's a legal limit in the state of Nevada for marijuana, similar to blood alcohol content for alcohol impairment.

According to the app's website, DRUID measures impairment - whether from the use of cannabis, alcohol, prescription drugs, exhaustion, or any other means - thus enabling users to make informed judgments about their current cognitive and physical states. This is the first of its kind in helping determine if one should be driving, using machinery, or engaging in any other complex task with a risk of injury or death.