While cannabis has been legal in California for a couple of years now, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of the drug. The penalties for a DUI-drugs are similar to the penalties for a DUI involving alcohol. These penalties can become more serious depending on the driver’s history, including prior DUIs and the circumstances of the accident. If people are injured or killed, the driver could face possible murder or manslaughter charges.
Proving that a driver was under the influence of marijuana is key, but this presents difficulties. Blood tests can show positive for THC for hours after the effects of the drug have worn off. Urine tests can show positive for THC for weeks and even months after a person last consumed. Saliva tests are being explored, but these are not yet readily available to all law enforcement.
The Temecula, California Patch reports that a deadly crash is blamed on marijuana intoxication in Temecula.
The crash occurred on Tuesday, June 30th at about 4:44 p.m. along Pala Temecula Road.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a Pala man who was not identified was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. He was speeding when the vehicle veered off the roadway and crashed into a tree.
One passenger in the Jeep was partially ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead on the scene. A good Samaritan helped that passenger and two others from the vehicle before it caught fire.
The driver was taken to a hospital for serious injuries. After treatment, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.