When you renew your vehicle's registration or visit the DMW, you will
almost always see a chart on blood alcohol content. The state of California
has strict rules about this substance being in your bloodstream as you
drive around town. However, this rule doesn't translate to marijuana
intoxication. In fact, it's much harder for a police officer to charge
a person with marijuana impairment because there's no current legislation
quantifying the intoxication level. If you find yourself being charged
with marijuana DUI, you need the help of Riverside, San Bernardino and
Orange County's leading DUI defense law firm. Take a close look at
marijuana and its effects on local roads.
Defining Legal Limits
Technically, marijuana use is illegal from a federal standpoint. Individual
states, however, are allowed to make their own laws based on local culture.
Many states now have either recreational or medicinal marijuana laws in
place. People are allowed to use a certain amount of pot for their personal
needs. No one is allowed to drive while using marijuana. As more people
abide by the marijuana laws, law-enforcement personnel are seeing violations
on the road. They might pull someone over for several reasons, such as:
- Excessive slow driving on the road
- Failing to follow traffic lights or stop signs
Only the state of Washington has tried to quantify traffic stops by stating
that a person is intoxicated if they have more than five nanograms of
THC per milliliter of blood in their system.
Problematic Time Frames
If you're charged with marijuana intoxication in the state of Washington,
there's still questionable circumstances that a criminal defense attorney
can bring up. Marijuana doesn't act the same as alcohol in a person's
body. Alcohol is merely present in the bloodstream immediately following
consumption. It's quickly absorbed and filtered through the digestive
system as the person sobers up.
Marijuana has these main features, including:
- Thirteen-minute lag time before the high is even felt
- Forty minutes of actual intoxication
- Varying THC levels with each marijuana batch
A reputable lawyer can argue that a person wasn't actually intoxicated
when he or she was driving because THC or the chemical high remains in
the system for days and weeks. A regular marijuana smoker can be technically
high at all times because THC is detectable in the blood around the clock.
Looking Into Technology-Based Solutions
Both scientists and law officers are looking into a device that may or
may not be possible for accurate marijuana measurements. Similar to a
breathalyzer, these potential tools give officers THC measurements in
the field. A person blows into the device, and it tells the officer how
long the THC has been in the bloodstream. The THC volume and time frame
tells the officer if the person is truly intoxicated. However, this technology
is still being developed.
An Illinois Example
A man, who smoked marijuana a week before a car crash, was convicted of
killing his passenger while under the influence of THC. The marijuana
chemical was found in his bloodstream immediately following the crash.
The best lawyer can't fight these facts because Illinois defines any
trace of marijuana in the system to be an intoxicated situation. This
person is now in jail for 14 years, but he may not have caused the crash
at all. The THC might have been residual elements from his use a week before.
Debating the Possibilities
At this time, California can only base a marijuana-intoxication charge
on strict observations, such as:
- Driving demeanor
- Prior moving-violation charges
- Personal mannerisms during law-officer interactions
Being charged with intoxication is a vague concept until a real tool is
approved for use on the roads. Law officials direct their officers to
use common sense with potential DUI drivers. Because of the uncertain
charges brought against many people, a strong attorney can easily have
the accusations thrown out of court.
Understanding Intoxication Consequences
California's laws are strict regarding intoxication charges. Once convicted,
you face several challenges, including:
- 180-days in jail
- Up to five years of probation
- Mandatory driving-under-the-influence school
- Loss of driving privileges
- $1,000 fine
It's critical to avoid conviction, and contact an experienced legal
professional. You'll have the tools to drop those charges as soon
Call Scott Henry today at 888-900-0951, and he can build a solid case for
you. As one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in Southern California,
he can look over your case in fine detail in order to find any issues.
It's possible to fight marijuana-intoxication charges with our law
firm backing you up.