Marijuana and DUI

03/16/2015

With the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes being a hot topic in Georgia over the last several years, it is important for people to realize that the legalization of medical marijuana does not change how people who have ingested marijuana can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI Drugs) in this state. In Georgia there has been no per se marijuana DUI for years, which means that if a person has ingested marijuana, in order to be charged and convicted of DUI it must be shown that they are less safe to drive as a result of the drug and not just that it is present in their blood. In order to prove the DUI Drugs Less Safe charge, the typical police officer will use the same standardized field sobriety evaluations that they use for a typical DUI alcohol investigation. These evaluations were developed and validated for use in alcohol investigations, so they may be limited in their effectiveness in determining if someone is less safe as a result of marijuana. Other officers receive more training in DUI drugs investigations and may have additional tools that they use to determine if somebody is DUI as a result of marijuana. In prosecuting the case, prosecutors will use officer testimony along with any blood tests to try to prove that at that moment, that driver was under the influence of marijuana and was a less safe driver. Beyond the differences of investigating and proving that a person is DUI from marijuana from a more typical alcohol related DUI, if a person is charged and convicted of DUI drugs as a result of marijuana there are different license suspensions than from a typical DUI alcohol conviction. Because of the different evaluations that officers may perform and the different license suspension issues that a person charged with and convicted of DUI from marijuana may face, it is important for people arrested for these types of crimes to hire a lawyer that is aware of these differences. If you have been arrested for DUI from marijuana or any other drug, whether legal or illegal, contact the DUI defense lawyers of Baker & Slider right away.

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