Recreational marijuana is not yet legal in California, but even if it is legalized, law enforcement will still be on the lookout for people who appear to be driving under the influence. California drivers should be aware of several things when it comes to marijuana DUI in California, including the state’s current drugged driving law, how people are charged with driving under the influence, how these crimes are punished, and more.
One of the biggest differences between an alcohol-related DUI and a drug-related DUI is how police measure levels of intoxication in a suspect. Unlike alcohol, which can be tested via the blood, breath, or urine to determine the percentage of alcohol in the blood, there is no quantifiable way to determine a person’s level of impairment when they have used marijuana. Furthermore, because THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, lingers in the body long after consumption, a person who is sober may still test positive for marijuana use and be charged with DUI. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admits that “it is difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects.”
Because there is so much gray area and subjectivity when it comes to a marijuana DUI charge, you should immediately get in touch with a seasoned lawyer who can defend you against your charges. You could be facing penalties that include three to five years of probation (which will likely involve periodic drug testing), up to one year in jail, community service, fines and court fees reaching $2,000, DUI school, and a six-month suspension of your driving privileges. These penalties are enhanced for a second offense. A DUI on your record could also result in damage to your reputation and make it difficult for you to open a new line of credit, find employment, and more.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, remember to remain calm and exercise your right to remain silent. Then, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Virginia Landry, Inc. as soon as possible. An Orange County DUI lawyer at our firm can review your case and determine which course of action will most benefit you. With decades of experience and an exemplary history of favorable results, our ultimate goal is to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact our firm today to schedule a confidential case evaluation.