Numerous states in the U.S. have either legalized the use of marijuana or decriminalized it, but you may still have the risk of getting in trouble if you use it and drive. Driving while under the influence of anything that could impair your ability to drive is against the law. While alcohol is the most common substance people think of when it comes to DUIs, there is also a chance that you could get a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Tests Used To Detect Substances
Alcohol and marijuana can both affect your ability to drive, and both substances can be detected through blood tests. When a person is pulled over and the officer suspects that he or she is under the influence, the officer may conduct a:
- Sobriety test – This can include asking the person to walk straight, bend over, touch body parts, and other simple tasks. If the person fails, the officer may ask the suspect to take a breathalyzer.
- Breathalyzer – This test will indicate a person's blood-alcohol content (BAC). These tests are not 100% accurate though, and they cannot currently detect drugs in a person's bloodstream. New machines are in the makings though, and these will be able to detect all types of drugs in a person's blood.
- Urine or blood test – The most accurate tests used for detecting alcohol or drugs are urine tests and blood tests. The downside to these tests is that it takes time to get the results back because they are not instant.
Research shows that driving after using marijuana doubles the person's risk of getting into a car accident, and this is why you should not drive after you use. The problem with using marijuana is that it can linger in your body for days. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't drive for days, but it can pose a problem if you are driving and get pulled over.
If you are pulled over and the officer suspects that you are impaired, he or she may use the methods listed above. If you have marijuana in your system, it will not show up on the breathalyzer, but the officer may require a urine or blood test, and this is where you may have a problem. When you consume alcohol, it will affect your bloodstream; however, alcohol tends to work its way out of the body quickly. Marijuana, on the other hand, does not, and you could end up with a DUI charge from using it and driving.
Marijuana is a substance that can stay in a person's system for up to 100 days, if the person is a daily user. The problem this creates is that it is very difficult to tell if a person is really impaired or not. You can look at the content levels in the person's blood or urine, but this does not really tell you whether he or she was impaired from the marijuana. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI because the tests revealed that you had marijuana in your system, you might have a good defense to use to fight this. If you can prove that the marijuana levels in your blood are always at this level because you are a daily user, you might be able to get the DUI charges drops.
If you are arrested for a DUI because the officer believed that you were impaired from marijuana, you may be able to get out of this charge. You should begin by hiring a DUI lawyer, and he or she will help you by proving that you were not impaired when the arrest took place. For more information, visit a website like http://www.hogankimrey.com.