Fisher Law Office

How Do California DUI Laws Apply To Marijuana Use?

In short, you can be arrested for DUI if you have smoked marijuana and drove a motor vehicle. This is true even if you have a valid medical marijuana identification card (MMIC). Under California law, it is illegal for anyone to drive while under the influence of any drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. In practice, however, the government may have serious difficulties proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver who smoked marijuana was intoxicated.

California does not use blood testing to determine how much marijuana is too much marijuana. While some states have established a legal limit for how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be in a person's blood, California has not done so. Further, even though blood tests that can tell how much marijuana is in a person's blood stream, these tests cannot determine how long ago a person ingested marijuana, or how much they ingested. Although blood tests for marijuana are not reliable indicators of a person's intoxication level, if a police officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI, you could still violate California's implied consent laws if you decline to take a blood or urine test.

How Does The State Prove Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana?

If the government decides to bring charges against someone for driving under the influence of marijuana, they will rely on many factors. A blood test could be admissible in court, but as stated above, there is no way to definitively prove how much marijuana you ingested or when you last ingested it.

Prosecutors will rely on other factors, such as your behavior during the stop, any statements you made to the arresting officer, your performance on field sobriety tests, and your driving just prior to the traffic stop. Depending on the circumstances, it can be challenging for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove under the influence.

Any person accused of driving under the influence of drugs should retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. For years, people across San Luis Obispo County and beyond have put their faith in the lawyers of Fisher Law Office.

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Fisher Law Office

1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

Phone: 805-706-0205
Fax: 805-542-0464
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