Marijuana and a DUI: How Can Officers Tell You Are Stoned Behind the Wheel?
While some of the field sobriety tests police officers use seem a bit silly, they actually do work. When a police officer is properly trained on how to administer them, the three tests used in the field can accurately identify alcohol-impaired drivers over 90% of the time. The blood tests and breathalyzer tests can then confirm a driver’s blood alcohol content. Dealing with high drivers is something completely different. Only about 30% of drivers who are under the influence of THC will fail the standard sobriety tests. Also, people who have used marijuana for a while, usually perform well. This begs the question – how can police tell if you are using drugs (or have used drugs) and got behind the wheel?
Methods Used by Police to Tell if You are Driving While Stoned
It doesn’t matter if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, driving while under the influence of this substance is still illegal. In Missouri, medical cannabis is legal, and the possession of cannabis has been decriminalized; however, this doesn’t mean you can use it and then get behind the wheel. This is something crucial that you must understand to avoid serious legal consequences.
Even though evidence has proven that drunk drivers are, generally, more dangerous than individuals who are stoned, using marijuana slows your reaction times and impairs your judgment.
While it can be challenging for police to prove you are driving while high, it is not impossible.
Today, there are specially trained local and state police departments who have one or more trained drug experts to handle these cases and who know how to identify the signs of intoxication.
Advancements in Technology
There is a device that has been developed to detect the presence of marijuana and other drugs in a person’s system. Keep in mind though, this device is still not used country-wide because of how new it is, how much it costs, and issues which calls into question the reliability of this device.
The Drager 5000 is designed to analyze a cheek swab and detect several drugs, including benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, methadone, amphetamine, cocaine, opioids, and marijuana. While it can’t tell how high a person is, it will let officers know if there are drugs (and which ones) are present in your system.
Is it Possible to Get a DUI for Driving While High?
DUI charges include any substance that affects your ability to drive. Even though drug intoxication is often difficult to measure, in many states this does not matter. While Missouri does not have the per se laws for marijuana use currently, it is present in some states. While this is true if police believe you are high while driving, you may face DUI charges.
If you are in a situation where you are facing these charges, hiring an experienced attorney will help ensure your rights are protected. Contact Kitchin Law Firm today.