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Marijuana DUI: VC 23152(e)

Marijuana DUI arrests have increased in San Diego County and across the State of California. Although the science behind marijuana and impaired driving has not been conclusively established, law enforcement still makes many arrests for Marijuana DUI, and the district attorney still prosecutes these cases.

It is important to remember that the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), which studies the effects of marijuana and impaired driving, have reached the following conclusions:

  • “The presence of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive part of the marijuana plant that causes impairment) in the driver’s body has not been shown to be a reliable measure of marijuana impairment of driving.”
  • “Toxicological tests confirm presence of THC but they do not indicate driver impairment or necessarily indicate recent marijuana use (when the THC levels are low).”
  • “While the presence of THC in a driver (blood, oral fluid, etc.) does not establish impairment, it also does not distinguish between active use and environmental exposure or contamination. Some studies have shown that people exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke can test positive for THC.”

The reason these conclusions were reached is because the effects of a particular drug or drugs on a person cannot be predicted by the level of the drugs found in the blood. For some people, it takes very little of the drug in their blood to cause the effect being measured. For others, it takes a lot.

This is not only applicable to THC, it applies to any drug. Marijuana DUIs, and other DUI cases involving drugs, are problematic because trying to measure the levels of a particular drug in the blood cannot predict how someone is impaired. This does not even take into consideration, CBD (Cannabidiol), another compound found in the marijuana plant, which has the same molecular structure as THC, but does not contain the psychoactive element of THC. Measuring this compound in the blood may lead to a false positive result.

There are a lot of issues surrounding the science behind Marijuana DUI’s, and they should be strongly defended. If you have been arrested, or are under investigation for a Marijuana DUI, contact Kern Law, APC today. We provide a free, confidential consultation.