With marijuana legalization in Alaska, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, the path toward legalization appears to be one that many more states – and potentially the nation – are traveling.
Throughout the country, including California, millions of voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana. One of the most pressing concerns for law enforcement and safety advocates; however, is how marijuana legalization will impact our roadways.
While driving under the influence of marijuana is something that all states are considering in their conversations about legalization, it has been a concern for law enforcement for decades. California residents currently have access to recreational and medical marijuana, and there is certainly no shortage of pot in the state. Despite this fact, law enforcement officers and prosecutors still face challenges when charging motorists for marijuana DUIs.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Under California law, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal and carries the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol. Being "under the influence" is defined as having consumed a substance that impairs one's abilities to drive with the caution of a sober person.
This definition as it relates to marijuana, is not as clear cut as with alcohol intoxication. How can it be determined that a driver is high while behind the wheel? How do we know that they are too impaired to drive? How do we test for this impairment? These are the questions that law enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to answer.
One of the largest concerns is the fact that there are no definitive tests to prove that a driver is too high to drive. Another problem with marijuana DUIs is that individuals who use marijuana more frequently have higher tolerances, and may not be impaired at an arbitrary level determined by the state.
Marijuana DUI Defense
Until government agencies develop and incorporate reliable testing methods to determine THC levels and enforce marijuana DUI laws, the fact remains that drivers are still being arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for driving under the influence of pot. Given the many discrepancies in these cases, anyone accused of marijuana DUI should be focused on working with an experienced DUI defense lawyer who can protect their freedom and future by thoroughly evaluating all circumstances of the arrest.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, allow an Orange County DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to review your case. Call (949) 537-2202 to request a consultation!