DUI: Marijuana DUI Offenses
Marijuana & DUI: How Do Police Measure Intoxication Levels?
The definition of “driving under the influence” (DUI) is not limited to drivers who have been consuming alcohol. Especially in Spokane, we are seeing more and more drivers who are being pulled over or arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. Because of this, we have also seen a rise in the number of accidents caused by marijuana usage in the area. Recently, two separate accidents occurred, one of which ended in the death of a cyclist, and the other left a motorcyclist with serious injuries, including multiple broken bones and a fractured hip. These types of accidents could lead to Marijuana DUI offense charges.
Marijuana-Related DUI Concerns on the Rise
Driving under the influence of marijuana is an issue that is raising concerns among law enforcement and government officials alike in Spokane. However, detecting marijuana in the system is much different than the procedures for alcohol testing; it involves blood or urine testing. The “per se” marijuana legal limit is five nanograms per milliliter of THC, the ingredient that purportedly contains psychoactive qualities, in the blood. Proving marijuana intoxication can be somewhat of a challenge for prosecutors. Despite the legal limit, law enforcement continues to remain divided on how to efficiently detect a person who is “impaired” by marijuana. A field sobriety test may be, therefore, be inefficient, in determining intoxication. A person who is intoxicated by alcohol may clearly show signs through slurred speech, slower reaction time, or uncoordinated movements. However, there are no tell-tale behaviors that are apparent for those under the influence of marijuana. Furthermore, the legal limit does not take into account that that intoxication, whether by alcohol or marijuana, affects every person differently. Therefore, the laws that apply to alcohol intoxication may not be entirely appropriate to govern marijuana intoxication.
What Can I Do if I Was Arrested for Marijuana DUI Offense?
One possible defense to the marijuana DUI argument is that a person who has a higher level of tolerance may not show impairment as much as someone with a lower level of tolerance. As of now, there may still be room for improvement to help officers differentiate those who are truly impaired and pose a danger to other drivers. The technologies for detecting marijuana in the system may also further need further testing and innovation, especially to differentiate between alcohol and marijuana impairment. In the meantime, for those who have been accused of a marijuana DUI offense, legal representation to combat those charges should be a priority. Looking for a criminal defense attorney in Spokane? Your first choice should be Bugbee Law Office, P.S. We offer free consultations so that you can discuss in further detail about your case.
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