A lot of people might ponder driving after smoking marijuana. Is driving while high a crime? It’s legal in 22 states to either smoke or possess marijuana. It’s up to the driver to know their limits.
In states where cannabis is illegal, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. This article discusses the law on driving under the influence of drug use. What happens if you’re caught driving while high? Is driving while high a crime?
Continue reading to explore the legality of driving under the influence of marijuana in states where it’s both illegal and legal.
Table of Contents
How Do OUI/DUI Laws Apply to Marijuana?
DUI and OUI laws vary by jurisdiction, and the specific regulations regarding marijuana and driving can differ from one place to another.
In some places, the presence of any amount of marijuana in a driver’s system while operating a vehicle can lead to a DUI or OUI charge. This is often called a “zero-tolerance” policy, where any detectable level of marijuana in the blood or urine can be grounds for a DUI arrest.
Other jurisdictions have established a per se limit for marijuana, similar to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for alcohol. This limit is typically measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) in the blood. If a driver exceeds this limit, they can be charged with a DUI or OUI, regardless of whether they were impaired.
Marijuana DUI/OUI Penalties
The penalties for a marijuana DUI/OUI can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the offense. Here is a general overview of the penalties commonly associated with marijuana DUI/OUI convictions.
DUI convictions typically result in fines, varying significantly depending on the jurisdiction. The fines can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
A marijuana DUI conviction often leads to a driver’s license suspension. The duration of the suspension can vary based on the jurisdiction and whether it is a first offense or a subsequent offense. Suspension periods can range from a few months to a year or more.
Mandatory Substance Abuse Programs
Courts often require individuals convicted of a marijuana DUI to attend substance abuse programs or counseling. The length and intensity of the program can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the individual’s specific circumstances.
Can Police Tell If You’re Driving High?
If the officer thinks a driver is impaired by marijuana, they may give the person more tests to determine how much they are affected. These tests can include a drug recognition evaluation (DRE), in which a skilled officer checks the driver’s physical and mental health, and chemical tests, such as blood, urine, or saliva, to see if drugs are in the driver’s system.
If you find yourself facing legal consequences due to a marijuana DUI/OUI charge, it is advisable to consult with an experienced OUI lawyer at Gilman Law, who can provide guidance specific to your situation and jurisdiction.
Say No to Driving While High
Driving while high is a crime that is dangerous to yourself and others. Drivers should know the dangers and stay sober while behind the wheel.
In public transportation, a sober driver – or both – should be used to ensure safe transportation. Drink responsibly and stay safe; never drive while high.
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