Defenses to Marijuana DUI
Although we have come a long way as a nation in being more accepting of the use of marijuana, especially for medicinal purposes, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of a marijuana high. Even though it’s not even remotely dangerous in comparison to driving under the influence of alcoholic intoxication, it is still punishable in all 50 states. Whether you are using marijuana alone or in combination with other drugs, you can be pulled over and punished for operating a vehicle under the influence of these drugs.
When not paired with alcohol, it can be extremely difficult to prove that anyone is driving under the influence of marijuana; however, there are a couple of tests that can be conducted to prove whether or not you are under the influence and, if so, just how far under the influence you are.
Blood and urine samples
As with blood alcohol thresholds, some states consider a certain level of marijuana metabolites in the driver’s blood or urine (typically measured in nanograms/ liter) as evidence of impairment. If for any reason a police officer suspects a driver of being under the influence, he will conduct one or both of these tests to find out what is in your system just like if he were testing for drunk driving. If you consumed marijuana within 3 to 6 hours of a blood test you will likely be found to be impaired. The specifics regarding the legal definition of being “under the influence” varies by state, as do applicable consequences. In a few states, there’s not even a threshold—any amount will prove you were intoxicated leading to an arrest.
Burden of proof
In DUI cases the burden of proof falls on the officer involved and it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove you were impaired at the time you got pulled over. A good attorney such as those who work for Murphy’s Law Offices would be able to raise reasonable doubt regarding your alleged impairment. When a reasonable doubt is raised, this can lead to dropped charges or even result in a “not guilty” verdict.
How do you raise a reasonable doubt? It’s easy when you consider that all tests, including the blood and urine tests you may have taken, are fallible. Although you could have tested positive for the presence of marijuana metabolites, the levels of the metabolites may only show that the drug was administered at some point in the past. This does not necessarily prove that you were under the influence at the exact moment you were pulled over.
If you have recently been arrested and have had to submit to urine and blood testing under the suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana use, you have rights that a lawyer at Murphy’s Law Offices would be able to stand up for. Give us a call at (253) 312-6122.