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How to Avoid a Marijuana DUI

September 9, 2022
Marijuana DUI

Don’t drive high. Ha!

We don’t work with marijuana DUI offenders; that’s for criminal defense lawyers. But we fiercely represent DUI accident victims. So if you’re injured in a DUI accident, please get in contact with us as soon as possible.

Marijuana DUI test – how can police tell if you’re driving high?

Marijuana DUI sign - don't drive high

Naturally, law enforcement has modeled their marijuana DUI protocols after alcohol DUI protocols.

While there is no breathalyzer equivalent for testing for marijuana, there is a legal limit of THC set at ​​five nanograms per milliliter of blood. Blood tests take longer and are not usually administered during a traffic stop. But refusing to submit to a test could warrant further investigation.

The trouble is THC and alcohol don’t react the same in the body. THC levels in the blood can remain high for extended periods of time. People who consume cannabis products every day, like those who use it medicinally, likely have detectable THC in their blood all the time.

So while blood tests are effective in detecting THC in the body, it’s impossible to prove if a person was impaired while driving with only a blood test. The National Institute of Justice has more information.

How can they ask for a blood test submission without any proof of impairment?

Man is given a marijuana DUI field sobriety test

Field sobriety tests remain popular.

It’s proven that failure to complete two of these four tests is enough to suspect someone is under the influence of marijuana. (Survey administered on individuals only under the influence of marijuana, no alcohol or other drugs.)

  • Balancing on one leg while counting down out loud
  • Standing with eyes closed and estimating the passage of 30 seconds
  • Repeatedly touching the tip of the nose with alternating index fingers
  • Taking a series of heel-to-toe steps in a prescribed way

Taking it a step further, Colorado law enforcement can be trained to be a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). DREs can then be requested by other officers who need help assessing a driver’s behavior during a stop.

Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, or ARIDE, is another, more extensive training police may have to be better equipped to spot impaired behaviors.

Bottom line: if an officer thinks for any reason that a driver could be a danger to themself or others they can detain the driver.

Then, there are the obvious signs that police look for, too:

  • The detection of marijuana smell on your person or in the vehicle
  • Physically, if your eyes appear bloodshot or your pupils are dilated
  • Unusual patterns in your speech
  • Marijuana products, packaging, or paraphernalia in the car
  • Poor driving, too slow, too fast, swerving, and the like

In the end, the police are trying to detect ANY KIND of impairment. The specific drug causing someone to be impaired is of very little importance compared to their desire to get that person off the street.

At the O’Sullivan Law Firm, we take zero pity on DUI criminals. Having worked with countless DUI accident victims and their families we are all too familiar with the atrocities that these criminals commit.

If you like to get high recreationally, just stay off the roads. Period.

If you’re using marijuana for medicinal purposes, keep your medical marijuana card with you at all times, don’t drive if you feel high, and don’t leave pot paraphernalia lying around in your car to avoid unnecessary scrutiny.

It’s always illegal to drive under the influence of THC. If you’re breaking the law while involved in a traffic accident you cannot be well represented in court.

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