Can I get a DUI for smoking marijuana in California? 30 Answers as of June 20, 2011

Can my boyfriend get a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana if he has a medical marijuana license?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
California law is specific to that jurisdiction. It is possible to be under the influence of a drug such as marijuana and be impaired for operating a motor vehicle. You should consult with an experienced DUI attorney in the area where the charges are brought.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/20/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Most States include Marijuana and other drugs in the definition of driving under the influence. And yes a person with a marijuana card can be found to be driving under the influence.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/20/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
You can be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs,any substance, or a combination of same, if it impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. I assume you could be convicted of driving under the influence of too many twinkies if it impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The fact that your boyfriend has a prescription for medical marijuana does not affect the laws as to driving under the influence.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/17/2011
Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. In Washington, if you are intoxicated by anything and driving you can be found guilty of DUI. For instance, as a prosecutor, I got a conviction on a man who legally took methadone. The bottom line is this: Whether a medication is prescribed, someone is stoned or drunk, that person still doesn't have the right to drive a vehicle under the influence of any of those substances. If one's ability to operate a vehicle is impaired, that person cannot legally drive. On that point, I'm sure California and most every state agree. It's not what one takes, it is does that substance lessen the consumer's ability to drive to any appreciable degree; whether the substance is legal or illegal.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Office of James A Schoenberger
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
In WA you can be charged with DUI if alcohol or a drug (prescribed or not) is affecting you ability to safely drive a vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/17/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. You can be convicted of DUI for use of a prescribed drug if it has an affect on you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, whenever someone uses drugs to the point that they adversely influence their ability to drive correctly, they can be arrested for DWI or DUI or DWAI. It's not whether the pot is medically prescribed, but the adverse affect it has upon the driver's ability to drive that makes the difference. Have your boyfriend hire the best lawyer he can find right away. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Card possessors in Oregon, where I practice, can get a DUII. Much as you can get a DUII if you drive under the influence of a controlled substance that has been prescribed to you (such as Oxycotin or Wellbutrin), you can get a DUII if you've been caught driving while impaired by pot. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act actually states that a person can't use the OMMA as a defense against DUII.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Technically you can get a DUI of drugs.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    It is called Driving Under the Influence and not drunk driving for a reason. Driving impaired, by anything, will get you arrested and convicted. That magic card has nothing to do with a DUI charge. It only supposedly prevents your arrest for simple possession of small quantity for personal use, by CA law enforcement. It also has nothing to do with arrest on federal drug charges if you run afoul of DEA. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this case, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Keep in mind a little free advice: When you are arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking you were given documents that included a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    In New York , even if we had medical marijuana, you most likely could still be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. You should not drive after using marijuana.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Of course. Just because you have a prescription for MJ to be used as drug does not mean you can operate a motor vehicle while under its influence. This is the case for any prescription drug.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes. it's like alcohol , even though it's legal it's not legal drive under the influence of it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Yes. If his driving was impaired by the marijuana. A prescription (for any drug) doesn't give you the right to drive a car if the drug effects your ability to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Wallin & Klarich
    Wallin & Klarich | David R. Cohn
    Yes, if they can prove he was under the influence such that the MJ in his system impaired his ability to drive. Just as alcohol may be legal to consume, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Yes, just like alcohol, even though medical marijuana is legal in certain circumstances, if you are 'under the influence' or 'impaired' by it, you can be charged with DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes, you can get a DUI for drugs whether legal or illegal if they impair driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Most states have similar offenses. i cannot say for California, but in Michigan you can get an OWI (operating whilie intoxicated) for driving under the influence of marijuana. It is very similar to alcohol, and has the same penalties. It does not matter whether you have a medical marijuana card. For that matter, if you are using any prescription medication and it affects your ability to drive, then you could get an offense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    In Michigan, if you have a valid medical marijuana license and comply with the terms of the license, you should not be charged or convicted of operating under the influence of drugs. If charged, a lawyer specializing in criminal law would be helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Absolutely. For example, just because someone has a prescription for Vicodin, does not mean that they can take several and drive while highly impaired. The same theory is advanced by the District Attorney for the proposition of a DUI, re: Marijuana. I have not personally pled anyone to the charge in years, if ever. There are serious proof problems for the District Attorney with the charge. About the only way they can try to make the case is for their Toxicologist to lie. Unfortunately, so many are only too willing to do so for their cash cow client. Do not plead guilty to that charge. Go to trial, no matter what. You might consider a 'Reckless Driving' (VC 23103), but only if one was really, really high.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Lowenstein Law Office
    Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
    Technically yes, but in practice, very rarely. Call me for more details.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes he can. Having the MJ license is irrelevant. Just like people who are 21 can legally drink, but that right has nothing to do with whether they can get charged for DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of Thomas D. Nares
    Law Offices of Thomas D. Nares | Thomas D. Nares
    Yes. It doesn't matter if your boyfriend has the right to smoke. If he's under the influence while driving it's a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible to get a DUI for marijuana even if you have a medical marijuana license. It is not legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana even with a medical card. That being said, there are a lot of possible defenses in marijuana DUI's.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that your boyfriend has a medical marijuana license in California. You want to know if you can get a DUI in California for smoking marijuana. If you are driving while stoned you are committing a crime in all states, the medical marijuana does not allow you to travel with it or drive while impaired by any substance. Get a good air freshener, some Visine, and take the pot leaf off the bumper and the cop probably won't know how stoned your are.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, as he could with any other drug which demonstrably impaired his operation of a motor vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana, will be arrested for driving under the influence. Even though a person may have a medical marijuana license, he or she cannot operate a motor vehicle while under its influence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    YES! 21352 (a) vehicle code
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich
    Wallin & Klarich | Stephen D. Klarich
    Yes. Although it may be legal to possess and use pursuant to law, he could be charged with dui (drugs). It is a more complicated blood test and experts can vary on how quantitative one can be impaired by weed. Usually defensible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Of course he can get a DUI. Being able to smoke does not prevent a conviction for the abuse of a substance while driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney