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Mouth Swab Testing for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Last year, Los Angeles implemented a new policy that tests if a driver is under the influence of marijuana by using a mouth swab test during a traffic stop. Though the swabs can test for seven drugs, law enforcement is primarily concerned with medical marijuana users.

While the test is optional, more and more drivers are submitting to the test. Riverside County is now in the process of implementing the same policy – taking a mouth swab of suspected DUI drivers during a traffic stop. It may just be a matter of time before San Diego and other counties start implementing the policy.

Unfortunately, these mouth swabs can cause problems. THC, the principal psychoactive element found in marijuana, can be detected in the blood for weeks after being smoked. Furthermore, California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b), California Drunk Driving Statutes, do not set a limit of how much THC has to be found for the driver to be considered under the influence.

For example, VC 23152(a) and (b) requires the following:

  1. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle. This means the driver's mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive with the caution of sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
  2. The driver had a sample of his blood, breath, urine taken within three hours of driving, and the BAC was 0.08% or higher.

If you have been arrested for DUI Drugs, contact Kern Law, APC today, and speak with me personally about your case.