Traditional Marijuana DUI Investigations
When a driver is suspected of drunk driving, officers use the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test to determine the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). With the legalization of marijuana in California, law enforcement agencies are quickly trying to find better ways to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana. Until now there have been no tests similar to the PAS that can immediately detect the presence of THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) in a driver's body. Blood tests taken after a DUI arrest can detect the presence of THC but not the level at the exact time of driving. The only other evidence in marijuana DUI cases are field sobriety tests and the officer's personal observations, the latter of which are subjective and can be challenged in court by a good DUI lawyer. CONTACT Berglund Law Office, P.C. today if you have been arrested for a DUI involving marijuana.
A new device is being developed by a company named Hound Labs. The instrument is similar to the PAS device and tests for THC. It is supposed to be able to detect the presence of THC in the breath within the past two hours. Hound Labs cites research which concludes that a person's high (and thus, the amount of impairment) is strongest within a two-to-three-hour period after smoking or ingesting pot. THC can be detected on a person's breath during this time period. Apparently the device will also be able to detect the THC amount.
What is an Unsafe Amount?
Even if the marijuana breathalyzer device can accurately detect a THC amount, which remains to be seen, the question that has plagued DUI prosecutors for years continues: what level of THC constitutes an unsafe amount for a driver and can be shown to have caused impairment at the time of driving? In Colorado and Washington, the legal limit is defined as five nanograms of THC per milliliter as measured in a driver's blood. In California, there is no defined legal limit; determining a driver's impairment is left to the arresting officer and to the DUI prosecutors in court.
Marijuana DUI lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, CONTACT our office for a free and confidential consultation. DUI lawyer Robert D. Berglund will personally speak with you to discuss your case. Do not assume that you are guilty of DUI because you have been arrested and accused of it. There are many possible defenses to a marijuana DUI charge. CONTACT our office today.