Los Angeles marijuana DUI just got a little likelier, given local news reports the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has bolstered funding for the prosecution of driving under the influence charges involving cannabis and other drugs. Because determining intoxication via marijuana can be subjective – even for trained police officers – it’s important to contact an experienced Los Angeles marijuana DUI lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are preserved.
There is currently no accepted scientific test that “proves” impairment by THC, the blood, urine or breath tests do with alcohol. That’s because alcohol moves through the human body at a much more rapid rate than THC, which means if it is detected in the system in high concentrations, intoxication is almost positive. THC concentration doesn’t tell us the same because the chemical can remain in the body for weeks or even months after consumption, particularly if one is a regular consumer of marijuana.
With the help of a nearly $1 million grant form the California Office of Traffic Safety via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency that seeks to curb drunk driving and slash the number of drug- and alcohol-related deaths and injuries across the U.S. This year’s grant is $100,000 more than the last. The funding is allocated for training and in some instances prosecuting cases of drug-impaired driving that results in death. Additionally, the grant will help train police agencies and boost the number of officers in Los Angeles County who are considered certified drug recognition experts (DREs).
How Officers Detect Drug-Impaired Driving
It is never safe to drive under the influence of any substance – alcohol or drugs. Both are illegal, per 23152a VC. The problem is determining when someone is impaired after using cannabis.
As noted by a study in The American Journal on Addictions, drunk driving is associated with 25 percent more motor vehicle deaths than drivers who are sober. Although many of those drivers may also test positive for cannabis, those who are solely under the influence of cannabis tend to be involved in fewer crashes. The combination tends to be more hazardous than either on their own, but one-to-one, alcohol tends to be more dangerous.
That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that marijuana is the substance most commonly linked to drugged driving, but mostly because so many people use it. Marijuana can slow one’s reaction time, distort perception and create problem-solving difficulties. However, even the CDC points out there is no accurate roadside test for drug levels in the body because marijuana can stay in one’s system for a long time, depending on how much and how often a person uses.
Drug recognition “experts” are trained via a 12-step procedure to identify whether a certain category of drug is causing a person to be impaired. The reason we put expert in quotations is because this still isn’t a sure-fire way to detect intoxication by a certain drug, and the observations are still largely subjective. Los Angeles marijuana DUI lawyers are fully aware the credibility of methods has been questioned in court has unreliable, and such testimony isn’t even accepted in all jurisdictions.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Funding Increased For Prosecution Of DUI Cases Involving Marijuana, Other Drugs, Dec. 3, 2018, CBS-2 Los Angeles
More Blog Entries:
Report: Federal Marijuana Arrest Data Overstates Problem by 70 Percent, Oct. 19, 2018, Los Angeles Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney Blog