Marijuana DUI Charges
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana (“DUI marijuana”), it is in your interest to retain an experienced marijuana DUI lawyer who understands how to handle this highly technical area of criminal defense. What follows is an explanation of why marijuana DUI cases are defensible. Before reading this you may want to first read: How to Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer.
If you have been arrested for marijuana DUI, chances are the police required you to submit to either a blood test or urine test. Your blood or urine will be tested for the presence and levels of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). It is important to remember that there is no legal or scientific standard that deems a person “too stoned to drive” based on the THC levels in one’s bloodstream. In fact, there are numerous studies which conclude that there is almost no correlation between the use of marijuana and driving ability.
The prosecution may have problems using the blood and urine samples to prove that you are under the influence of marijuana while driving. Depending on how frequently you use marijuana, THC and its related byproducts (known as “metabolites”) can be found in urine anywhere from 1 day to 60 days from the time marijuana was smoked or ingested. Since the effects of marijuana can be diminished in as little as two hours, the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) has warned police and prosecutors that the presence of THC metabolites in urine is not an accurate method to determine whether someone was impaired by marijuana while driving.
Blood samples are a bit more reliable than urine, but not by much. The levels of THC and its metabolites in your blood depend on how much and how often you use marijuana. There is no set formula. If you are a heavy marijuana user, you may have high levels of the active THC metabolite some 12 hours after smoking even though you will not be impaired at all. The NHTSA and leading scientific studies have stated that it is impossible to determine whether someone was using marijuana at or near the time of driving based on the presence of the active THC metabolite in the blood.
So what else do the police use to try and make their case? Well, in addition to your blood or urine test, you may be subjected to an examination by police officer known as a “Drug Recognition Expert.” This may sound very official, but this so-called expert is really just a police officer who took some drug classes taught by other another police officer. The tests are notoriously inaccurate and are supposed to be conducted according to strict federal guidelines. These guidelines are routinely ignored by most police officers and the examination process is rife with errors. A DUI attorney will understand how to use these federal guidelines to impeach the credibility of this “drug recognition expert.”
The bottom line is this: If you are charged with a marijuana DUI you need an attorney who knows he or she is doing. This is not like any other area of criminal defense.
To ensure your rights are protected, call Los Angeles marijuana DUI attorney Jerod Gunsberg at (323) 633-3423 for a free and confidential consultation or get in touch via the secure contact form on this page. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.