If you’re pulled over for driving while intoxicated, one of the many charges you face is driving while under the influence of marijuana. The problem is that even if the police want to accuse and arrest you for this, there are no reliable DUI tests for marijuana intoxication.
The use of marijuana before driving is a growing concern. For police, marijuana is treated just like alcohol. If you’re intoxicated, you can still be arrested.
The problem is that it’s hard to identify marijuana. Standardized chemical tests to identify marijuana use simply do not exist. Those that do may reveal a positive reading even if the person hasn’t had any marijuana for days. Additionally, different people respond to the drug in various ways, making it impossible to set a standard level for intoxication.
In Colorado, the flagship state of marijuana legality, a THC blood test can show presumed impairment, but it’s easily dismissed. A court or jury may infer that the person was intoxicated if he or she had over five nanograms of THC per millimeter of blood. However, that doesn’t mean the person was actually intoxicated. It only shows the level of THC in the blood, not quantitative proof of intoxication.
This is further proven by the fact that THC can be in the body for up to 30 days at once with levels far above the five nanogram proposed limit. That would be long after the intoxicating effects of the drug wore off.
Until THC testing is reliable, drivers could find themselves wrongly accused of DUI and in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney.