PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas) – Arizona State University is developing an app to help determine drug impairment.

The developers use the same technology that test patients for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

“In the case of marijuana, the active ingredient, THC, can stay in your system days and days, if not weeks,” Rick Dale, with Arizona State University’s Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, told KPHO-TV.

The app designed can tell if a person is under the influence by eye movements.

“It actually measures micro saccadic eye movement, which is involuntary eye movement, which tells us whether or not a particular portion of the brain is paired,” Dale told KPHO. “With that impairment window of four to six hours, that’s the sweet spot. That’s what the law enforcement needs to know, it’s what prosecutors need to know.”

The app will work with a smartphone’s camera. It plans on also testing for heroin and prescription drugs, as well as marijuana. The developers are waiting for more funding before they launch their app.

Detective Kemp Layden of the Phoenix Police Department believes this app can make his job easier and the roads safer.

“I will always want it to just bolster, I don’t think it should ever replace law enforcement,” Layden told KPHO. “We’re about removing impaired drivers from the roadway, that’s our focus.”

According to the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in five drivers tested positive for at least one drug last year.


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