Has There Been More Drugged Driving Since Marijuana Became Legal?
California is one of the few states in the country that has legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. As of Jan. 1, 2017, anyone in California who is 21 years old or older is able to use marijuana in private homes and businesses.
One place where you cannot legally consume marijuana is in your car while you’re driving. Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in California. Have there been more instances of DUI marijuana since weed became legal in California?
DUI Marijuana on the Rise
There are no official statistics that show how many DUI drivers are drugged drivers, but the California Highway Patrol has reported an increase in marijuana-related DUIs since the start of the year. In Colorado, traffic deaths linked to drivers who were using marijuana increased by 32% in the first year that weed became legal. The same is happening in California.
One of the reasons the CHP believes that DUI marijuana is on the rise in California is because there is currently no legal limit for marijuana while driving. When it comes to alcohol use, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08% or more under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e). However, since this doesn’t exist for marijuana use, people are more likely to drive high and police are less likely to be able tell when someone is driving under the influence of marijuana.
Scientists in California are currently coming up with ways to test what the legal limit for marijuana use while driving should be. Nevada has already set a limit of 2 nanograms per milliliter of blood while the legal limit in Washington is 5 nanograms.
Penalties for DUI Marijuana
Despite the fact that marijuana use is illegal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. If you are driving and legal marijuana use has impaired your ability to drive, you could be convicted of this crime.
The penalties for a DUI marijuana conviction include up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $2,000. You may also be required to take DUI classes and your driver’s license could be suspended. If you commit a second or subsequent offense or if you injure or kill someone while driving under the influence of marijuana, you face much more severe penalties.
Contact the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI marijuana, you should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled DUI lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients against DUI marijuana charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.