What to Know About Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
If you think about driving while intoxicated, you possibly think about driving under the influence of alcohol. In recent years, with the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in many states, people also might drive under the influence of marijuana. If you have been charged with a DUI based on marijuana use, keep reading. The answers to these questions could impact your case.
Is Driving With Marijuana in Your System Illegal?
In Pennsylvania, driving with any amount of marijuana or metabolite of it in your system is illegal. If you are caught doing so, your first offense may come with a sentence of at least 72 hours but no more than six months in jail in addition to fines and possible license suspension.
On your second offense, you may be subject to imprisonment lasting between 90 days and six months. You may also have to pay a fine of $1,500 or more and attend a driving safety class. Your license could be suspended for 18 months or longer. With additional offenses, the sentence can increase.
You should take into account that you may face charges in addition to a DUI. For example, if you drive with children in the car while intoxicated, you face additional charges for child abuse or child endangerment.
Additionally, how you obtained the marijuana does not impact a DUI. Whether you have a medical card or obtained the substance legally, you are still not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence.
Does Marijuana Affect Your Driving?
Marijuana can have a serious impact on the way you drive. Marijuana can impact your central nervous system as a depressant. Your judgment will likely become impaired, and you might not be able to make quick decisions or react quickly enough should you need to while driving.
How Do Police Officers Test for Marijuana?
Generally, police officers decide to arrest somebody for marijuana DUI based on the intoxication they observe on the scene. In Pennsylvania, police officers can test you at the time of arrest for cannabinoids in your blood. Failure to take a chemical test when prompted by an officer means you could face jail time and fines regardless of whether or not you actually have drugs in your system.
Does a DUI for Marijuana Affect Your Life?
Absolutely, a DUI can have severe detriments on several aspects of your life. For example, you could lose your job if you have to spend months in jail because of a DUI conviction, taking away your ability to take care of your family or maintain a home.
Other aspects of your life may change too. For example, if you were trying to get into college, the admissions office could consider your conviction when determining if you can get into the school. Employers and landlords may also be able to see that you have a criminal conviction.
What Should You Do If You Are Accused of Driving Under the Influence?
Your first step after an arrest for driving under the influence of marijuana should be to speak with an attorney. An attorney may have the ability to use a defense that reduces your charges or results in the charges being dropped completely.
Kalasnik Law Office provides legal counsel for individuals in situations like yours. If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of marijuana, you need strong legal counsel on your side. Call us today to discuss your case and ensure that you have fair representation if your case makes it to trial. We are happy to answer all your questions and address all your concerns about your case.