Can get a DUI for being under the influence of marijuana? 16 Answers as of February 24, 2012

Can I get a DUI if I had only smoked a little(not enough to impair my driving) and have a medical license to use marijuana?

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Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
Yes, under California Vehicle Code 23152(a) driving under the influence of marijuana is a violation. Please note that possession is different from driving under the influence under California Vehicle Code 23222(b).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Yes, you can. However, MJ cases are much easier to defend than alcohol cases as there is no set minimum level for MJ in your system. Further, the degree of intoxication varies radically with marijuana depending on how regularly it is used. As far as the MJ card, just because you have permission to use it at home does not mean you may drive under its influence. However, as I said, you may be able to prove that you were NOT under the influence due to your individual tolerance.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Hong Lyu
Yes, it is possible to face DUI charges for being under the influence of drugs. California Vehicle Code Section 23152, which is the statute for DUI, provides for both alcohol and drugs. This particular code has two parts: an "(a)" count and a "(b)" count. VC 23152(a) provides that "it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." This explicitly states that if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, while you are driving, you will face a DUI charge. The way the arresting officer determines whether or not you are guilty of this count is based on what the officer observed when he stopped you. The sort of things officers look for are: irregular driving patterns, weaving, blood-shot eyes, slurred speech, impaired coordination, odors, or your admission of alcohol consumption or drug use. VC 23152(b) only looks for alcohol in your system at the time you were driving. This count provides that "it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle." If it's drugs in your system, then there will be no alcohol involved. You will not have to face this charge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Yes. DUI is for any impaired driving, no matter the substance. Your PC medical card has no effect on DUI charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. He will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/1/2011
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Yes. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal and can lead to a DUI conviction. However, marijuana DUI charges are better to defend, especially if the District Attorney cannot prove that the amount of marijuana in your system was enough to affect the ability of your driving. You should speak to a lawyer right away.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Driving while impaired is against.the law. How, the prosecution has a very difficult time proving impairment MJ. I rarely see such prosecutions but yes it is possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes, you can a DUI for driving on any drug legal or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    In order to be convicted of a DUI, it would have to impair your driving, however, I would not recommend it. It is far too easy to get charged with a DUI, which would cost you time, trouble, and money to fight the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Yes. It is possible to get a marijuana DUI even if you have a medical license. The medical license may give you some state rights to possess or smoke marijuana, but it doesn't give the right to drive if intoxicated. That being said, marijuana DUI's are often good cases to fight as there are a lot of potential defenses in those cases. Contact me through 1duilawyer.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss in further detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    YES, you can definitely be arrested and prosecuted for driving "under the influence of marijuana". The fact that you have a medical license will not be a defense to the charge. Nobody has the legal right to drive under the influence of any substance. The good news is that it is much more difficult to convict someone for driving under the influence of marijuana than for being under the influence of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Its legally possible, but difficult to prove. Having a license to smoke marijuana doesnt protect you from DUIs, but it does help in the defense as well. Ive taken cases like this to trial before and won. There have been studies done on driving while under the influence of marijuana. While the drug can cause some impairment, its not as bad as alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes the same as you can on prescription drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Yes, you can be charged with DUI with marijuana, even with a medical card. The big issue is going to be whether or not they can prove the charge against you. Since there is no magic number like the 0.08% in alcohol DUI cases, they would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in fact under the influence of marijuana to the point where it impacted your ability to drive. If this is a real scenario and not just a hypothetical one, contact a local criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard. Marijuana DUI cases are tough for the prosecution to prove, so it's worth getting an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    Yes under Vehicle Code 23152 (a) being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, you could be charged with VC 23152(a). The fact that you have a MJ license is irrelevant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Pakneshan Firm
    The Pakneshan Firm | Pezhman Pakneshan
    Yes. CVC 23152, subdivision (a), in addition to outlawing driving under the influence of alcohol and alcohol combined with drugs, also outlaws driving under the influence of drugs alone. **Its no defense to the charge that you had a prescription or otherwise legally used a drug (CVC 23630). However, the District Attorney must prove impairment. Unlike alcohol DUIs which most often rely on a measurable amount of blood alcohol (e.g., .08), there is no standard measurement for how much marijuana causes impairment in all individuals. In short, there is no fine line, or designated level of marijuana in one's blood to prove impairment. For this reason, your driving pattern, performance on field sobriety tests and demeanor are the crux of determining the strength of a marijuana DUI prosecution. Marijuana DUI cases are very fact specific. Also, the DMV consequences are different than in alcohol DUI cases. **Feel free to contact me for a thorough examination of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
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