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Tag Archives: marijuana

Drugged Driving Now More Dangerous than Alcohol

The crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI, DWI, OWI, etc.) may be committed by driving while impaired due to any intoxicant or combination of intoxicants.  These include, among other intoxicants, alcohol, prescribed medication or illegal drugs.   A 2016 study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (“GHSA”) shows a trend in fatal drug related crashes surpassing deadly accidents involving alcohol. Experts say this trend derives from states legalizing marijuana combined with the current opioid epidemic in America. According to ... Read More »

Am I Stoned? A New Phone App

According to Inverse.com, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has now created a mobile phone app that can determine if you are impaired due to marijuana consumption. The app, presented by Elisa Pabon, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago, is called, “Am I Stoned?” The app, while not yet ready for distribution, tracks performance on certain digital tasks performed on one’s smart phone. Surprisingly, the most accurate assessments of impairment came from the study participants.  “With regard to ... Read More »

MASSACHUSETTS SUPREME COURT LIMITS EVIDENCE OF MARIJUANA USE IN PROSECUTION OF DRIVERS

In September 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously ruled that police cannot give testimony that, in the officer’s opinion, a driver was under the influence of marijuana based on their on-scene observations, including sobriety tests. The court found that there is no consensus in the scientific community that roadside sobriety tests prove someone is under the influence of marijuana. The judges noted that the effects of marijuana “vary greatly from one individual to another, and those effects are as ... Read More »

DUI Technology—The DRUID App

The effects of alcohol intoxication are relatively well-known, and they are also relatively universal among different people. The amount of alcohol concentration in one’s bloodstream that causes these effects differs among each of us (e.g. tolerance). Moreover, the amount of time it takes to experience these effects is dependent upon a number of factors such as how quickly the alcohol is consumed, the amount of food in one’s stomach, etc. Nonetheless, all states[1] in the U.S. have adopted the 0.08% ... Read More »

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE PREPARING MARIJUANA BILL FOR GOVERNOR BAKER

One day after the Massachusetts House voted to raise the proposed tax on retail marijuana sales to 28 percent, the Senate overwhelmingly voted (30-5) to preserve the 12 percent maximum endorsed by voters in a ballot question last November. The proposed legislation is now headed to a conference committee with hopes that a final bill will be sent to the Governor by next Friday, June 30. The selling of marijuana for recreational purposes is currently illegal in Massachusetts but the ... Read More »

Forced Catheterization: Medically Acceptable and Reasonable?

Imagine you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI or DWI). The Officer decides he has probable cause to arrest you for DUI, and pursuant to your state’s implied consent law, he requests that you provide a sample of urine to determine the alcohol and/or drug contents in your system. Again, he specifically requests a urine test, not a breath test or a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol, prescribed medication, ... Read More »

“Stoned Driving”: How Do You Measure Marijuana Impairment?

There has been a lot of media attention lately to the development of breath-testing devices that claim to provide law enforcement with the ability to detect and measure the presence and amounts of marijuana in a driver suspected of so-called “stoned driving”.  The accuracy of these devices has yet to be widely-accepted in the scientific community.  See, for example, Is It Possible to Prove Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?   Will science and profit-hungry corporations ever be able to ... Read More »

A Marijuana Breath Testing Device?

Breath testing devices are commonly used by police officers in their pursuit to enforce Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI/OUI, etc.) laws across the nation. These devices not only detect the presence of ethanol, but also attempt to quantify the amount of alcohol in one’s blood. Every state has adopted a per se limit of .08 percent of alcohol in the person’s blood. This means that if a person has a blood alcohol level (breath tests are also commonly used to ... Read More »

Why do I have to pay Virginia a “License Reinstatement Fee”?

Why do I have to pay a !@#$%^&* Virginia “License Reinstatement Fee” when I don’t even have a Virginia License? We’ve had a ton of these questions lately. Usually at least a couple of the caller’s favorite expletives are inserted as they rehearse all the costs they have already paid for a Virginia DWI: court fines & fees, ASAP & treatment fees, FR-44 insurance fees, and possibly even reimbursement of arrest costs to the city or county that arrested them ... Read More »

SCRAM:  Before and After a DWI Conviction in Virginia?

SCRAM – the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor – is becoming more popular in Virginia courts both before and after trial.  SCRAM is an alcohol tester that straps on to your lower leg.  It typically consists of two black boxes secured by a locking strap. The most common use of SCRAM continues to be as a condition of bond. If you want out of jail before trial – you have to wear SCRAM. While a number of judges across Virginia require ... Read More »