Federal traffic safety officials have expressed concern that with a growing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana, law enforcement may be thwarted in their attempts to enforce laws on marijuana DUI because they won’t be able to test for the drug.
One of the main problems is the lack of a reliable quantifiable standard to gauge intoxication. With alcohol, adults over 21 in all 50 states are considered impaired by alcohol if their blood concentration of the substance is 0.08 percent or higher. This is called the per se limit.
As our marijuana DUI defense lawyers can explain, there is no per se limit for marijuana in California or in most other states, whether the drug is legal or not. Even in states where there is a per se limit, such evidence can be vexing for prosecutors because it’s undeniably inaccurate when it comes to actually proving intoxication. Unlike alcohol, which dissipates very quickly from the bloodstream, THC (the intoxicating element in marijuana) is processed much slower by the body. A person may have used the drug the day before – or use it regularly – and no longer be intoxicated, but still meet the per se threshold. Continue reading