Can a Person Be Charged With DUI When Using Marijuana?
The use of marijuana has become more and more widespread in recent years, especially as multiple states have legalized the drug for both recreational and medicinal use. Because of this, many people may drive after using this drug. However, drivers should understand that they could potentially face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) due to their use of marijuana. Those who have been arrested and charged with intoxicated driving will need to make sure they have legal representation by a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases.
Legal Issues in Marijuana DUI Cases
Under the laws in Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating drug. However, unlike in DUI cases involving alcohol, Connecticut law does not specify a legal limit to determine when a person is intoxicated by marijuana. If a police officer pulls a driver over based on the suspicion that they are intoxicated, they may make an arrest based on the results of field sobriety tests or other observations that indicate that a person has been using marijuana. These may include the smell of marijuana in the vehicle or physical symptoms of marijuana intoxication, such as bloodshot eyes, drowsiness, or delayed responses to questions.
Connecticut’s implied consent laws require a driver to submit to chemical testing if they are arrested for DUI. These tests typically involve the use of a breathalyzer to measure the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). However, a breath test will not measure the level of intoxication by marijuana, so a driver may be asked to provide a urine sample, which may detect any marijuana in the driver’s system. While a driver who is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol will face an administrative suspension of their driver’s license if they refuse to submit to chemical testing, this administrative suspension will not apply to drivers who are charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
The problem with testing for marijuana through urine samples is that these tests may not accurately show a driver’s level of intoxication. Traces of marijuana can remain in a person’s body for as long as 30 days after using the drug, so the presence of marijuana alone may not be enough to establish that a driver was intoxicated. However, the test results, when coupled with the officer’s observations of a driver’s behavior, may be used as evidence to show that the driver was impaired due to the use of marijuana. By working with an attorney, a person may be able to challenge this evidence and show that it does not provide sufficient proof that the driver was intoxicated.
Contact Our Fairfield County Marijuana DUI Lawyer
Those who are arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana must be given the opportunity to consult with an attorney before submitting to a chemical test meant to measure their level of intoxication. At the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner, we can advise you of your rights in these cases, and we will help you defend against DUI charges. Contact our Stamford DUI defense attorney at 203-348-5846 to set up a free consultation.