Orange County Criminal Lawyers
Marijuana DUI in Anaheim
While in the city of Anaheim, driving under the influence of marijuana (DUI Marijuana), is an offense according to California Vehicle Code 23152(e).
Even though Proposition 64 has made it legal to use marijuana recreationally in the state of California, driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
A distinction should be made between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of a drug such as marijuana. Unlike with alcohol, there is no device such as a breathalyzer that can easily indicate how much marijuana someone ingested over a certain period of time to see if they are “legally” under the influence. In fact, there is no legal cap at the amount of marijuana someone can have until they are legally high, unlike alcohol. With alcohol, if you possess a BAC of 0.08% or higher, then you are legally intoxicated and should not operate a motor vehicle because of the impairment. However, officers have other methods to help prove that you were driving while under the influence of marijuana. Like with alcohol, the officer might see or sense some indicators that the operator of the vehicle has ingested marijuana, such as the smell of the vehicle or if the person has any symptoms of marijuana use such as slowed reaction or impaired coordination. There has also been the use of drug recognition experts or drug recognition evaluators (DRE) to help determine the state of the operator. These DRE’s are certified in detecting if someone has recently ingested drugs and what kind of drug they might have taken, and if it has impaired the operator of the vehicle to the point where it affects if they can operate the vehicle safely.Punishment and Defense for Marijuana DUI
Penalties for Marijuana DUI are similar to penalties for other DUI charges. Like other DUI charges, DUI Marijuana charges tend to escalate if a person has prior charges and a past criminal history. Additionally, the severity of the case will also play a part in the punishment given by the judge. If you are on probation or parole, you are likely to see an increase in the penalty you face.
If you are arrested for DUI marijuana, it is a good idea to find an experienced DUI attorney to represent you. Some of the legal defenses that the attorney will explore include:
- You did not use marijuana
- You were not driving the vehicle
- You had used marijuana many hours before you were arrested and you were no longer under the influence while you drove
- Your tolerance for marijuana is high and your mental and physical faculties were not impaired
A good attorney will also explore whether the evidence used to make the arrest was legally and properly acquired. Your attorney may question:
- The officer's assessment of your driving pattern and other statements that the officer makes
- The procedure and validity used to acquire the field sobriety tests and the preliminary alcohol screening test and
- Evidence presented by the prosecution that you are addicted to marijuana.
In order to mount a strong defense, it is important to call the Johnson Criminal Law Group as soon as possible.