Although medical marijuana is now legal in California, it’s still illegal to drive under the influence of any drug or alcohol. For alcohol cases, this is usually a simple question. A person is either over the legal limit of a .08, or they’re not. Although a person can be charged when alcohol influences their ability to drive when they’re under a .08 blood alcohol content, this rarely happens.
No legal limit for Marijuana
For marijuana DUI, the line isn’t so bright. The State of California doesn’t have a legal limit for marijuana. They also don’t have a way to test a person’s marijuana levels on the side of the road.
Alcohol is measurable in a person’s breath, so law enforcement can test a person’s alcohol levels using a breathalyzer test. However, marijuana doesn’t appear in the breath, so law enforcement has no way to test your marijuana levels without drawing your blood. For now, a marijuana DUI is hard to detect, and it’s even harder for law enforcement to prove your guilt to the satisfaction of a jury.
Promising New Research
Researchers in California are working on trying to establish a legal limit for driving under the influence of marijuana. To do this, they’re having volunteers smoke marijuana and then use a driving simulator. They’re testing the participants at different strengths of marijuana use and at different intervals between smoking and driving. They’re also having participants take other cognitive tests to determine their ability to think and reason after smoking.
As marijuana use continues to grow, this research becomes more important than ever. Early research shows that drivers aren’t much more likely to be in an accident if they have only moderate levels of marijuana in their system. Ultimately, researchers hope to establish a legal limit for marijuana DUI. They hope that this legal limit, in turn, helps law enforcement create new techniques for detecting drugged driving and fairly enforcing California laws.
We Can Help
If you’re facing a marijuana DUI, the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman can help. Their team of legal professionals has years of experience helping clients navigate California’s complex and changing marijuana and drunk driving laws. If you’re facing any kind of marijuana or drunk driving charge, you should contact our office as soon as possible. The Law Office of Louis J. Goodman can help you protect your rights and defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law.