You have a medical condition that qualifies you for medical marijuana. Truth be told, you follow all the rules as you understand them. Then, one day it happens. You’re pulled over for a simple traffic violation and you find yourself suddenly facing a somewhat serious offense. How exactly do the police make a case against you when it comes to marijuana and DUI?
The fact that you have a MMJ card means you are most likely schooled on what New Jersey laws say when it comes to its use. For one, you should know that it’s only intended for your use and you’re expected to keep it in the container labeled by an authorized cannabis dispensary.
Of course, you can be charged with marijuana possession if you don’t meet the criteria for legal use. Ultimately, the law could change to allow legalization of recreational marijuana. For now, that’s not the case.
In the meantime, there are some issues when it comes to even legal use of marijuana and getting behind the wheel. If you smoke a joint while you’re driving or right before, you could put yourself or others at risk. And, yes, it comes down to a charge of driving while under the influence.
Consider the difference between smoking weed and drinking alcohol as it relates to intoxicated driving claims. When you have alcohol on your breath, the police can demand you breathe into a machine and take an alco-test.
Most commonly referred to as breathalyzers, these machines register your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. It’s as “easy” as that to determine if you’re found drunk because your BAC is higher than .08%.
In the meantime, it’s a bit more complicated when it comes to checking if you’re too high to drive after smoking a joint.
Marijuana and DUI: Determining Intoxication
Truth be told, a DUI charge involving marijuana use comes with its share of challenges. In New Jersey, marijuana use is confirmed by urine tests. Although all kinds of factors matter when it comes to the metabolism of marijuana, the Mayo Clinic says that the THC component of cannabis can be detected up to thirty days after use.
This could prove to be an alarming fact when it comes to your DUI charges. In some cases, you might not have touched pot for a couple of weeks. Yet, you’ll come back with a positive urine test and feel completely defenseless.
Meanwhile, there’s something else you should know when it comes to any type of drugs and detection when you’re accused of DUI. Before you’re even sent for a urine test, local law enforcement agents may request the help of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). This specially-trained individual puts you through a series of tests and submits an opinion concerning the type of drug you’ve used that put you’re the influence.
Earlier this month, news reports came out that the state is evaluating a marijuana breathalyzer. While urine tests only provide positive and negative reasons, the new technology promises a new technology that will measure THC levels. Hopefully, this will change the means of determining whether or not someone is truly under the influence of marijuana when they’re behind the wheel.