Marijuana DUI In Bel Air, MD
On July 1st, 2023 marijuana became legal to own in Maryland. Today, it is possible to own 1.5 ounces of marijuana or 2 plants in your home. Due to this, there will be an uptick in the number of arrests for marijuana DUI. However, testing for marijuana is not nearly as mature as it is for alcohol. Alcohol-related tests are more or less standardized by the NHTSA and related organizations. While breathalyzers have issues, they can be enough to arrest someone on suspicion of DUI. In many cases, they are enough to convict. The most accurate tests remain blood tests. But marijuana stays in the system much longer and there is no universally recognized test to determine if someone is under the influence of marijuana while they are driving their vehicle.
Maryland employs the use of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) to determine if someone is intoxicated on drugs. DREs examine a number of signs that an individual is currently intoxicated. These range from subjective assessments gleaned during an interview to blood tests. In this article, we’ll discuss how marijuana DUIs work in Maryland now that marijuana is legal to possess.
An uptick in the number of marijuana-related DUIs
Colorado was the first state to decriminalize marijuana. Once they did, there was a notable increase in the number of marijuana-related DUIs. While marijuana has been legalized, it is still considered a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in the State of Maryland. Maryland officers will now be looking for individuals who are driving under the influence of the popular recreational drug.
In these cases, the police will use DREs to make a determination as to whether or not someone is under the influence of marijuana at the time of their arrest. The DREs can provide testimony against the driver in a court of law. The penalties for being convicted are the same as they would be for any type of DUI arrest. However, the quality of the testing methods is not nearly as mature as it is for alcohol.
Marijuana can stay in the system for a long time whereas alcohol leaves the system in a matter of hours. That means that an individual ostensibly could have smoked marijuana over the last few days, but been pulled over later based on how they were driving. The prosecution must still establish that the driver was under the influence of the drug while they were operating their vehicle.
To ensure that you are not unfairly charged with DUI if you are a recreational marijuana user, you will need the aid of a skilled attorney. We understand the complexities involved with determining whether or not someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their arrest. If you have a valid claim that you are not, we can help you prove that in court.
Talk to a Bel Air, MD Marijuana DUI Attorney Today
Schlaich & Thompson represent the interests of those who are charged with marijuana-related DUI. Call our Bel Air criminal defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your defense strategy immediately.