According to the Federal Bureau of Transportation, approximately every two hours, three people are killed due to alcohol or drug-related highway crashes across the United States. An even greater percentage of individuals involved in these accidents are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, accounting for 25% of all DUI related arrests.
It is important to remember that these DUI statistics do not just involve alcohol; they also involve drugs. California Vehicle Code 23152(e) states that “[i]t is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”
The Statute includes marijuana. Although marijuana is legal for recreational use in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Valley, and the Coast, driving under the influence of marijuana is not.
According to CBS News, California law enforcement officials are seeking ways to use oral swabbing as a method of detecting individuals driving under the influence of marijuana.
While the science on oral swabbing is still developing, this trend should remind regular marijuana users that it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the substance. For example, penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana for the first time include the following:
Up to six (6) months in jail;
Up to $1,000 fines;
Up to five (5) years of probation; and
Up to six (6) months of driver’s license suspension.
Fighting Bay Area Marijuana DUI Charges:
Unlike with alcohol, there is no designated protocol for determining whether an individual is impaired from marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. With alcohol, there is a clear 0.08 blood alcohol content limit.
Thus, having no set determination for what constitutes impairment makes it more difficult for the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was driving under the influence of marijuana in a criminal manner.
Moreover, the concept of “plain view” or “plain smell” may not always work in the Bay Area. Considering that marijuana is legal for recreational use, smell tactics are not as effective for detecting marijuana use.
An experienced attorney will understand how to use these gaps in procedure to effectively fight for the rights of those accused of DUI marijuana charges.
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or any other substance, speaking with an experienced attorney is imperative.
Call now for more information about driving under the influence of marijuana and other moving violations. Ticket Crushers is the Bay Area’s premier Traffic and DUI Law Firm to discuss your case: 1-866-TICKET-HELP (1-866-842-5384)