California has strict laws and regulations governing the use of marijuana for drivers. Anyone who drives under the influence of drugs breaks the laws and may face dire consequences if found guilty in California. That is why it is best to know the limits for driving high to avoid making costly mistakes that could lead to lifelong issues.
What Does California Law Say About Driving High?
While some people believe that they can drive safely when high on marijuana, California laws prohibit this act. Anyone convicted of driving under the influence can face hefty penalties, fines, or imprisonment.
As a driver, it is imperative to understand your rights to help you make informed decisions that can prevent you from breaking the DUI laws.
If you violate the law, it can be challenging to handle the case if you do not have adequate legal skills. A Los Angeles DUI Attorney can advise you on the way forward and help you handle your case. You can ask the attorney any questions concerning your DUI issues to help you understand the law and know what to do.
What Is the Limit for Driving High in California?
The current laws in California do not give an accurate definition of marijuana impairment. This is different from alcohol since there is no accurate roadside test that can detect marijuana levels in the body’s system.
The tetrahydrocannabinol ingredient in marijuana does not correspond with impairment as alcohol does. This substance reacts differently to different people and can stay in the body for several days after consumption.
While there is no limit to defining marijuana impairment, California vehicle code 23152 states that it is illegal for anyone to drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, if convicted of driving under the influence, the prosecutor must prove that you were impaired to a high degree and could not drive soberly.
How Do California Police Detect a High Driver?
Erratic driving is the main reason police suspect that you’re driving under the influence of marijuana. A police officer can pull you over if they see you smoking a marijuana cigarette. It is easy to detect because drivers are prohibited from consuming marijuana in a moving car.
The officers can also suspect that you are high if you have red, watery eyes and dilated pupils. At this point, you should be ready for a series of field sobriety tests for marijuana. If you refuse to take the chemical test, you may face additional penalties, more jail terms, and extended suspension of your driver’s license.
A drug recognition expert will run a 12-step test similar to alcohol tests to determine if you’re impaired. If they detect impairment, you may need to take a blood, urine, breath, or saliva test. This is because there is no threshold for marijuana impairment in California. Police use physical tests, erratic driving, field sobriety test results, and physical symptoms.
What Are the Defenses for Marijuana DUI Charges?
The prosecution must confirm that you were the driver as you were under the influence of marijuana at the time of arrest and that your driving was impaired before you get convicted of a DUI charge.
If there is no strong evidence, then you may not be guilty. However, if you’re found guilty, it is best to speak to a Los Angeles DUI attorney to advise and guide you through the legal processes.
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana DUI in Los Angeles?
Since driving under the influence of marijuana and other substances in Los Angeles is a crime, you will face various penalties listed below if found guilty.
- Your license gets suspended for six months to two years immediately after you’re convicted.
- The jail term sentence begins at two days, a minimum of up to six months. It could extend or include prison time.
- You will have to attend mandatory DUI safety classes for three to nine months at your own expense.
- Hefty fines of thousands of dollars ranging from $1,800 to $15,000.
The above penalties and fines can be draining if you lack the legal expertise to fight the charge. It is best to hire an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney to fight the charge. If not, you may end up paying hefty fines and other harsh penalties.
What If I Have Been Wrongfully Accused of Driving High in Los Angeles?
Your marijuana-related offense may be dismissed if there is no concrete proof that you were high at the time of the traffic incident. This is why it is best to work with a Los Angeles DUI attorney who understands California DUI laws to discuss your legal options.
Contact Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer Today
Handling a DUI case can be daunting and challenging if you do not have the legal expertise. At Los Angeles DUI Attorney, we are familiar with the state laws and have all it takes to handle your case. You do not have to go through the daunting processes alone. Whether you’re guilty or you’ve been wrongfully accused of driving high in Los Angeles, contact us today for a confidential consultation and let us discuss your matter.