New Bill Aims To Seal DUI Hole For Underage Cannabis Users

In many states, the acceptable blood-alcohol level for people under the legal drinking age of 21 is 0.0%. There are no tolerance laws for teens who decide to drink and then drive. With the legalization of recreational marijuana, some lawmakers in California are concerned that underage – you have to be 21 to purchase recreational cannabis – consumption and driving may occur. Merry Jane reports on a new bill introduced in the California Senate looks to try and curb underage marijuana consumption and driving.

Testing someone for DUI alcohol is relatively easy. There are breathalyzer tests as well as blood and urine tests that can accurately determine if there is alcohol in someone’s system at the time of an accident. However, with marijuana, there is no breathalyzer test. Blood and urine tests can say if there is marijuana in someone’s system – but it could have been days – or weeks since the person last smoked.

That fact could spell trouble – especially for teenagers who smoke marijuana and then get behind the wheel.

SB1273, introduced by Jerry Hill (D), would create a zero-tolerance policy for California drivers under the age of 21 who are caught driving under the influence of marijuana. The bill would allow for a one-year suspicion of drivers license for any underage person who fails a roadside cannabis test. This could be effective no matter when they last consumed the drug.

Driving while on cannabis has become a hot-button issue for many jurisdictions who have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana.


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