California just voted to legalize marijuana in this past election. Although the full effects of this decision will not be totally visible until early 2018, many questions arise out of the speculated changes to our California way. When is it legal to be under its influence? Would it be OK to drive?
The short answer is no. It is not OK to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other substance that negatively impairs your ability to operate heavy machinery. Still, many wonder how this is enforced. The effects of marijuana may not be as visible or detectable by the senses as those of alcohol, but the impairment is rather similar, and police do have a way of testing your level of impairment. If found under the influence, consequences will be identical to that of a DUI of alcohol.
How Officers Determine Marijuana Impairment
When you are pulled over for speeding, failing to make a complete stop, or for any other suspicion a police officer may have, he or she will then have the ability to conduct sobriety tests if he or she believes the driver to be under a substance. Many of these will be similar to those asked of drivers believed to be under the influence of alcohol.
If the officer has further reason to believe you are under the influence of marijuana, such as possession of it in your vehicle, he or she may then be able to arrest you. Upon booking, the officer can order a blood sample to be taken. If this blood sample comes back positive with THC, you will be charged with a DUI.
Herein Lies the Problem
This blood test only shows that your blood contains THC, which will soon be entirely legal and common. The test, however, does not confirm that you were actually under the influence of marijuana at the time you were driving, it merely shows that you have used it in the past month or so.
Your Marijuana DUI Defense Team
Our team at Wilfert Law P.C. understands both that marijuana DUI charges are serious and that testing and convictions of these are quite flawed. If you have been arrested for a marijuana DUI case, we want to defend you and challenge the unfair methods of testing.