It can be difficult for law enforcement officers to determine whether motorists are under the influence of marijuana. There may be no smell or signs of impairment. Marijuana also complicates DUI laws in California in other ways. Law enforcement officers may use several tools to determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
- Field sobriety tests: Officers may ask you to perform one of several field sobriety tests if they suspect you are under the influence. These are physical or mental exercises that are supposed to help officers determine whether you are impaired.
- Blood, saliva or urine tests: You might be required to take a blood or urine test if an officer has probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence of marijuana. California law enforcement officers have also used roadside saliva mouth swab tests on motorists.
- Drug recognition experts (DREs): Some police departments may have drug recognition expert programs. Police officers who participate in these programs receive training to spot drug impairment. In some cases, they may be called to a DUI stop to evaluate drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
- Asking questions: Police may simply ask drivers whether they are impaired by marijuana or if they can search the vehicle. In some cases, motorists may become scared of being arrested or searched and fess up to the officer.
What if I’m Charged with a Marijuana DUI in California?
There are currently few reliable ways to test for marijuana impairment. THC metabolites (THC is the active ingredient in marijuana) may be detected by urine tests for weeks or months after the last use. A person is not impaired several weeks after the last use of marijuana. Drug tests can also result in false positives. You could fail a field sobriety test even if you are sober. As a result, you could be charged with a DUI even if you were not under the influence of marijuana at the time of your arrest.
There are strong defense options for a marijuana DUI. If you are being charged, you should speak with a San Jose marijuana dui defense attorney right away. The attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP. could help determine which defense options would best suit your case.