Californians across the state celebrated on January 1, 2011 when possession
of one ounce or less of marijuana became an infraction, punishable by
no more than a $100 fine and didn’t incur any jail time. However,
when you add up the fees, it can set you back by nearly $500.
While people can be slapped with a $100 fine for
possessing marijuana in the state of California, if they are caught driving under
the influence of marijuana…now that’s a different story.
Under Section 23153 (e) of the Vehicle Code, it is unlawful for a person,
while under the influence of any drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently
violate the law. Does this apply to small amounts of marijuana in the
bloodstream? Yes, absolutely.
Can I get my DUID charge reduced?
Were you arrested for driving under the influence of
marijuana? If there was no alcohol involved, the DMV can send your license back
and won’t suspend your license on their own; however, if you are
convicted under 23152(e), then the DMV will suspend it.
If your blood results show that your THC level was below 2 ng/ml, then
hopefully the DA won’t file, since that means that you waited three
hours after smoking pot before you got behind the wheel. Also, such low
levels indicate that marijuana was likely not a factor.
On the other hand, if your THC level was 3-5 ng/ml, then you may be able
to get a “wet reckless,” which is a plea that is better than
getting convicted of DUI. It doesn’t trigger a license suspension,
which means you can still drive!
If your THC was over 5 ng/ml, then you can expect the DA to go after a
drug conviction. However, a skilled defense lawyer still may be able to
get a wet reckless. In California, DUI Drug cases are different than alcohol
cases; there is no clear THC amount that results in an automatic conviction.
One good rule of thumb: if your field sobriety tests didn’t go well
and the police felt that you weren’t safe to drive, then the DA
may pursue a DUI.
Contact an Orange County DUI attorney such as Virginia Landry who has extensive experience handling marijuana
DUIs. We are on your side!