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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Recreational marijuana and DUIs

You may assume you are completely free to smoke marijuana whenever you want in California, but that is not the case. Despite the fact that it is now recreationally legal, there are restrictions that are important to keep in mind, especially when it comes to driving. 

Drug driving is just as serious of a crime as drunk driving. Do not think you will be safe if you get behind the wheel after getting high. Here is how marijuana legalization in California is affecting DUI arrests:

Law enforcement is cracking down

Due to the common misconception that driving under the influence of cannabis is not a big deal, police are enforcing DUI laws even more. According to KTLA 5, the police are increasingly warning motorists about this crucial marijuana regulation. The police are taking cues from Colorado, another state with legal marijuana. Colorado officials say seventeen percent of all DWI arrests involved marijuana. 

Marijuana impairment

There are important reasons why marijuana intoxication while driving is illegal. Here is how using the substance may impact your driving skills:

  • Slower reactions
  • Slower decision-making abilities
  • Coordination impairment
  • Memory loss
  • Perception distortion
  • Difficulty problem-solving

No matter how much you claim marijuana helps you, the law says otherwise.

Detecting THC

Despite the widespread enforcement of impaired driving laws, it is often difficult for police to determine whether a driver is high. There is no level of THC in California that makes it illegal to drive like there is for alcohol. This makes it hard for officers to truly prove that a driver is impaired. If a cop pulls you over and arrests you for DUI, you may be able to defend against the charges claiming you were not actually high. THC can stay in your system long after you use marijuana. 

The best thing you can do to avoid DUI marijuana charges is to not drive while high.

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