Can I be charged with DUI for possession of Marijuana?
August 10, 2011

California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability to drive with the care of a normal sober person. California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) addresses driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two. That includes otherwise legal medications, including prescription or over-the-counter medications, if the substance causes impairment. This also includes marijuana, even if the person has a valid medical marijuana certificate.

The primary issue in a California DUI Drugs case is whether the drugs affected your ability to safely drive your vehicle. One extremely relevant factor is the reason for the initial DUI stop – is it alleged that you were speeding 70 mph in a 65 mph zone? Did you cause a traffic accident after bolting through a red light? Your driving pattern is one of many relevant factors when analyzing a DUI Drugs case.

DUI cases involving marijuana are often difficult for the prosecution to prove. Unlike the .08% blood alcohol level in drunk driving cases under California Penal Code section 23152(b), there is no presumptive standard amount of THC that establishes impairment to operate a motor vehicle. However, an elevated concentration of THC (the principal active component of marijuana) in blood may be consistent with recent use of the drug and related driving impairment. In addition to the chemical test results, supplemental information must be considered, including:

  • your driving pattern;
  • performance on field sobriety tests;
  • statements and/or admissions;
  • officer observations

If you or a loved one have been accused or charged with DUI in Orange County, it is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately, like the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. We have over 30 years of experienced handling this type of matters and can assist you in obtaining the best possible result at the DMV and in criminal court. Call the law firm of Wallin& Klarich today at, (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.

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