For Trooper Joe Leibrecht, getting impaired drivers off the road is personal. Before he was with the Washington State Patrol, he was a teacher who saw one too many tragedies.
"I actually had five students that were either killed or directly impacted by impaired drivers," Leibrecht said.
Leibrecht changed careers hoping to make a difference. Now, he watches for people driving high, a reality since recreational marijuana was legalized with the passage of I-502 in 2012.
"You're more in tune to be looking for it nowadays,? Leibrecht said.
Much like alcohol impairment, people suspected of driving high are asked to do a field sobriety test. Officers check for eye movements, balance and test the person's concept of time. If officers rule out alcohol and believe drugs are involved, they need blood for evidence. Unlike alcohol, where there's fast results from a Breathalyser, there's no on-site test for marijuana. Instead, officers have to get a search warrant signed by a judge to draw blood, which can take up to several hours.
"If they're impaired we have no issue with taking that driver off the roadway,? Leibrecht said.