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Mass. SJC Rules Field Sobriety Tests Aren't Conclusive Evidence Of Marijuana Intoxication

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Massachusetts' highest court ruled Tuesday that field sobriety tests — typically used in drunk driving cases — are not conclusive evidence of marijuana intoxication.

But the ruling is a bit murky. It says there's no scientific consensus around field sobriety tests, but it also says police officers can testify about their observations of a driver's possible impairment — they just can't testify about any conclusion from those observations.

Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael, who sits on the state's Cannabis Advisory Board and co-chairs the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association's substance abuse committee, joined WBUR's All Things Considered to talk about the ruling.

This segment aired on September 19, 2017.


Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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