Driving Under the Influence (DUI) When Impaired

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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) When Impaired

Vehicle Code 23152e CA 


LAW: Even though possession of Marijuana is legalized, it remains unlawful to drive while under  the influence of marijuana or any drug if impaired to the degree that one is unable to operate a  motor vehicle safely. 

PENALTY: For first time offenses, the maximum penalty amounts to six months in jail, a fine of  $390-$1,000, a restricted license and a three years probation. If the person convicted is under 21  years old, he/she will be subject to lose their license for 1 year, and be subject to a DUI program  if they have .01 alcohol content, even if not convicted. They may also be subject to an interlock  ignition device. Medical marijuana patients are not exempt from statues that prohibit driving  while impaired.  

DOWNLOAD MY APP 420LAWS for information regarding  how you may wish to interact with law enforcement while  being detained & to record the conversation by pushing  the “PANIC BUTTON”. 

Notes from Bruce: 

Being under the influence is not necessarily impairment  

Notes from Bruce: 

The police officer’s opinion regarding how the defendant  performed on the field sobriety test is the #1 method, other  than how the vehicle was driven, which is relied upon by the  prosecution to establish impairment.  

DUI SUSPECTS CAN REFUSE TO TAKE FIELD SOBRIETY  TESTS AND TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS SUCH AS  WHEN THEY LAST USED MARIJUANA: . If you are arrested,  you are required to take a Breathalyzer and/or blood or urine test  if requested. Otherwise, REFUSAL TO TAKE THOSE CHEMICAL  TESTS WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF YOUR DRIVER’S  LICENSE FOR A YEAR and may be used as an argument for  consciousness of guilt.  

DUI CASES INVOLVING THE USE OF MARIJUANA ARE  OFTEN DIFFICULT FOR THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE  IMPAIRMENT: Unlike the .08% blood alcohol level, which  makes a defendant guilty in drunk driving cases, there is no  legal standard amount of THC that presumptively establishes  impairment in California. Other factors are used by the  prosecution to try to get a conviction. These factors include  driving violations, such as weaving and field sobriety tests such  as walking a line, touching a nose, speech, or admissions of  effects. Note that claiming to be tired only adds to the possibility  of impairment. Police are not required to give Miranda Rights  unless you’re actually arrested, as opposed to being merely  detained.  

ALCOHOL AND WEED DON’T MIX! Studies show that alcohol  with marijuana radically increases chances of impairment.  These types of cases are less defensible. DON’T DO IT! 

CHOOSING A BREATH, BLOOD, OR URINE TEST: Experts  advise if option is provided to choose breath, blood or urine, to  choose a breath test because it does not register THC. However,  if you have not used marijuana for at least 3 days and an officer  requests that you submit to a blood or urine test, choose the  blood test; experts indicate that THC is usually detectable in the  blood for up to two days. Otherwise, choose a urine test; even  though a urine test will most likely show a positive marijuana  metabolite result (up to 35 days or more), its presence alone is  even less relevant than blood analysis to establish impairment,  which is required to prove DUI. 

Note From Bruce: Recently the Massachusetts Supreme  Judicial Court determined the psychoactive effects of cannabis  vary too greatly from person to person for an officer to make a  confident decision about the motor vehicle operator’s level of  inebriation. 

CALIFORNIA LAW LICENSE SUSPENSION: Anyone under  21 who is convicted of DUI or any other marijuana offense will  lose his/her California driver’s license for one year. Adults over  21 convicted of a drug DUI including only marijuana, will lose  their license for 6 months, unless they participate in a drug  education program, which will limit suspension to 30 days, a 5  months restriction, to only drive to and from work and to the  designated DUI programs, and they may now be required to  install a car ignition interlock device per DMV instructions. 

Adults may also lose their license when convicted of marijuana/ cannabis offenses for up to three years when a motor vehicle is  used [CA Vehicle Code §13202]. The judge may suspend or or der the DMV to revoke a driver’s license for possession for sale,  transportation, or sale to a minor. When the defendant shows a  “critical need to drive,” he/she can attempt to obtain a restricted  license [ Vehicle Code §13202.5].