As trends would lead us to believe, marijuana is here to stay. With more
medical marijuana programs throughout the country and more states pushing
to legalize pot, its clear many Americans are making their voices heard.
Although some states are decriminalizing or even legalizing weed, there
are still concerns over how it should be used responsibly, especially
when it comes to driving.
Chief among concerns over driving under the influence of marijuana is determining
when a person can be considered too high to drive. Many
marijuana DUI laws enacted across the country have been criticized for being arbitrary,
and researchers are still struggling to reconcile differences in how pot
affects different people and their driving abilities, and how law enforcement
officers can accurately determine when a driver is under the influence
to the point of being impaired. Still, laws must be passed.
In Nevada, a lot of people are familiar with laws regarding
driving under the influence of alcohol, but that’s not always the case when it comes to marijuana
DUIs. Joey Gilbert Law Attorney John Stephenson recently shared his insight
on the subject with News 4. Attorney Stephenson and our team have seen
more marijuana DUIs in Reno and across the state, and believe it’s
important for people to know the facts:
- The legal limit under Nevada law is 2 nanograms of marijuana per milliliter
of blood (2ng/mL).
- The legal limit applies only to individuals who have valid medical marijuana
prescriptions. Those without prescriptions stopped for marijuana DUI can
face license penalties and / or face misdemeanor charges.
- Certain certified law enforcement officers can test drivers for the presence
of pot by testing oral samples using the Draeger Drug Test 5000 machine.
However, the machine only indicates the presence of marijuana, not how
much is in a person’s system. That will require a blood or urine
test after a field test.
- Nevada Drivers have the right to refuse submitting an oral sample, unlike
breathalyzer tests. Still, officers have the right to make arrests if
they suspect a driver is too impaired to drive. Although oral samples
can be refused, refusing a blood test carries immediate penalties, including
an automatic license suspension.
The problem with the legal limit of 2ng of marijuana per mL of blood, as
Attorney Stephenson explains, is that everyone processes pot differently,
so it’s not clear how long a person should wait after using marijuana
before getting behind the wheel. It also makes it difficult to determine
how much pot would lead to a DUI.
While questions remain and more research is conducted, the trend of marijuana
use increases. As such, law enforcement officers are on high alert for
motorists driving under the influence of pot, and more arrests are expected.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for marijuana DUI in Reno,
Sparks, or the surrounding areas of Nevada, be aware that this is still
a conflicting area of law, and that you have the right to challenge the
government’s case against you with the help of an experienced lawyer!
Contact Joey Gilbert Law today for a FREE consultation. We’re available 24/7.