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DUI

Man Arrested For Pot DUI Has Been Acquitted

A man from Lakewood, CO, who was accused of driving under the influence of marijuana, was acquitted of all charges earlier this month even though a blood test showed he had over the legal limit of THC in his system. 7.9 nanograms per milliliter to be exact. The legal limit being only 5 nanograms per milliliter.

His lawyer argued that Marijuana is different than alcohol, and that the “standards are not one-size-fits-all”. He claimed his client was perfectly able to drive even though his THC blood levels were over the limit.

Read More about this story here!

Arizona Supreme Court: Marijuana not an automatic DUI

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

As the article says, this ruling is a defeat for prosecutors trying to charge MMJ patients with DUI.

Via AZDailySun:

People with marijuana in their system can escape drugged-driving charges if they can show they weren’t “high” enough to be impaired, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled this morning.

The justices rejected a claim by two individuals that the fact they have a state-issued card allowing them to ingest the drug automatically means they cannot be charged with driving while impaired. Chief Justice Scott Bales, writing for the unanimous court, said nothing in the 2010 voter-approved law allowing the medical use of marijuana provides such immunity.

But Bales said the presence of marijuana is not proof that someone is actually impaired. And he pointed out the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act itself has a similar requirement.

What today’s ruling does is create what is called an “affirmative defense” for those charged, allowing them to prove to a court “that the concentration of marijuana or its impairing metabolite in their bodies is insufficient to cause impairment.”

Today’s ruling is a defeat for prosecutors.

They argued there is no commonly accepted threshold to determine what amount of marijuana causes impairment. And that, they said, makes it inappropriate to allow those who have used the drug — and still have evidence of it in their bodies — to escape conviction.

What MMJ Patients Need To Know About Arizona DUI Laws

Reefer
After proposition 203 passed in 2010, there was the issue of figuring out how to deal with MMJ patients and existing DUI laws. The problem of course is that the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) stays in a persons system for weeks, sometimes months, even if you use the medicine sparingly. This means that a person can fail a urinalysis and not even be impaired at the time of the test.

This is problematic because some MMJ patients were being charged with DUI’s for failing a urinalysis. There was even a a state Court of Appeals in 2013 that gave law enforcement the right to prosecute marijuana users even if there was no evidence of impairment.

This has all changed as of April, 2014 when the state Supreme Court ruled that authorities can’t “prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop”.

Via The Huffington Post:

Authorities can’t prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.

The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.

The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.

Some prosecutors had warned that anyone in Arizona who used medical marijuana simply shouldn’t drive or they would risk facing DUI charges, a contention that drew the ire of pot advocates who claimed this interpretation of the law criminalized their legal use of the drug after voters approved it in 2010.

Tuesday’s state Supreme Court opinion removed that threat in explaining that while state statute makes it illegal for a driver to be impaired by marijuana, the presence of a non-psychoactive compound does not constitute impairment under the law….” [Continue Reading]

In conclusion, as long as you make sure to never drive for several hours after medicating with marijuana, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting a DUI. With that said, this post is not meant to serve as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer.

Arizona Court Overturns Marijuana DUI Ruling

behindwheel

This has been a long time coming! Yay! Via Huffington Post:

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities can’t prosecute Arizona motorists for driving under the influence of marijuana unless the person is impaired at the time of the stop, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in the latest opinion on an issue that several states have grappled with across the nation.

The ruling overturned a state Court of Appeals decision last year that upheld the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers for DUI even when there is no evidence of impairment.

The opinion focuses on two chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests — one that causes impairment and one that doesn’t but stays in a pot user’s system for weeks.

Some prosecutors had warned that anyone in Arizona who used medical marijuana simply shouldn’t drive or they would risk facing DUI charges, a contention that drew the ire of pot advocates who claimed this interpretation of the law criminalized their legal use of the drug after voters approved it in 2010…” [Continue Reading]

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