|Zero Order versus First Order|
New York State as well as the rest of the country found setting specific BAC (blood alcohol concentration) thresholds rather simple. NYS even separated out intoxication (.08 or more), from impairment (.06 to .07). Now with marijuana use and abuse on the rise everyone wants to apply alcohol terms, alcohol tests, and alcohol pharmacological kinetics to THC.
What does "zero order kinetics" have to do with Alcohol and THC? How can we better defend New York DWAI drugs THC cases from alcohol prosecution?
Alcohol and Intoxication Follows Zero Order Kinetics When Eliminating From The Body
Alcohol is one of few drugs that has a very steady, orderly, and linear elimination phase. Remember alcohol is absorbed, distributed, and then eliminated from the body. Based on how much you drink, what you eat, and over what time an educated guess can be made of your BAC levels. Because alcohol follows a straight elimination of approximately .02 BAC per drink per hour. So roughly 5 drinks will raise your BAC .02 x 5 = .10, with a total Blood Alcohol Concentration at peak of about .10 will then reduce to about .06 BAC within two hours.
THC Follows First Order Kinetics in Eliminating from the Body
|It's all about half-life|
DWAI Drugs THC in New York State Can Be Defended By Using First Order Kinetics
Many police officers and lab toxicologists want us to use alcohol as a model for understanding marijuana pharmacology. If we don't know all the variables concerning THC half life, and the specifics for your elimination period of marijuana then one blood test one time doesn't tell us your BAC level at time of driving.
It would take seven different blood draws over time to accurately gauge THC at the time of driving. Even then that level alone doesn't tell us the amount of impairment by the THC level, was there truly any mental or physical impairment of your abilities to drive? Even then can the officer asking you to walk a straight line (an alcohol test) use that test to say you were too stoned to drive?
There are many issues to explore in defending marijuana while driving (DWAI DRUGS), and making the leap from applying alcohol DWI to drugs DWAI is not as easy as many believe.