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Marijuana DUIs in Pasadena

After voters passed Proposition 64 on November 8, 2016, California became the eighth state in the country to legalize recreational cannabis in January 2018. Although it is legal for state residents and visitors to purchase, possess, and consume marijuana on a private residence, such activity is still illegal in public and while operating a motor vehicle.

The following is an overview of Marijuana DUIs in Pasadena.

Question: What is the Legal Definition of Marijuana DUI in California?

Answer: According to state law, it is against the law for an individual to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug--no matter if it is illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter. A marijuana DUI suspect’s mental or physical abilities must be so impaired by pot that he/she cannot operate the vehicle with the same amount of caution a sober person would do so under similar circumstances.

Q: What if I have a medical marijuana prescription?

A: Having a medical marijuana prescription doesn’t provide a pass for driving under the influence. Since you could be charged with a DUID for being under the influence of prescription medication, this includes medical marijuana.

Q: Is there a legal limit for cannabis consumption?

A: Unlike alcohol, there is no “legal limit” for pot in California since there are no reliable chemical tests available to check a person’s THC level and experts cannot determine the amount of cannabis that would result in impairment.

Instead of chemical tests, law enforcement and the prosecution can use the suspect’s driving patterns, statements to police officers, field sobriety test (FST) results, and physical symptoms of intoxication (e.g. red eyes, odor of cannabis coming from the suspect’s body or vehicle, dilated pupils, rapid heart rate, delayed reaction time, etc.) against him/her in court.

Q: What are Drug Recognition Experts (DREs)?

A: Although evidence of a suspect’s impairment is often established by the arresting officer’s testimony, some law enforcement agencies request assistance from a “Drug Recognition Expert” (DRE). These law enforcement officials are trained to perform tests and identify drug-related impairment. In court, the DRE will testify about his/her qualifications and training, then testify about the evaluation process during the suspect’s DUI investigation to conclude how the driver was impaired.

Q: What are the penalties for a Marijuana DUI:

A: For a first-time offense, a marijuana DUI conviction in California is punishable by a jail term of up to six months, a maximum $1,000 fine, and up to six months of driver’s license suspension.

At The Law Offices of Matthew Cargal, we have helped many clients obtain successful outcomes when facing DUI and DUID charges. In fact, Attorney Matthew Cargal is giving a lecture on this topic that will be held at UCLA on July 24, 2019, hosted by the California Continuing Education.

For more information about marijuana DUI in Pasadena, contact us at (888) 717-0139 and schedule a free consultation today.