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Can I Get a DUI from Smoking Weed and Driving?

Answer: Yes

Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that marijuana or cannabis use can increase the risk of a crash by up to 3 times more than an unimpaired driver. Marijuana can affect a driver’s normal faculties, such as ability to walk, talk and carry out everyday functions, like driving a car. It can affect your ability to perceive surroundings or speed. It may lead to drowsiness, which may cause a person to be less attentive. 

But What if I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

Doesn’t matter.

As I always explain to clients, it’s like alcohol. No one is saying you can’t drink; you just can’t drink and drive. Same goes for marijuana. If you have a medical marijuana card, you can legally smoke or consume weed in Florida. What you can’t do is consume marijuana and drive. Speaking of smoking weed, because of the way the marijuana enters the system, the effects can be very rapid if you smoke it. On the other hand, ingesting marijuana by consuming edibles can be very deceptive. Its effects can take longer to feel and thus can lead to overconsumption. You might feel fine after ingesting marijuana edibles and decide to drive, but the full effects might not be until you’re halfway through your trip.

How Long Should I Wait Before Driving After I Consume Marijuana?

It depends. 

It depends on how you consumed the marijuana and the THC concentration of the particular weed. Studies have shown that smoking weed can impair your ability to drive even 4 hours after smoking. I once had a toxicologist (expert) testify at trial that it takes approximately 6 hours to clear your system after smoking weed. On the other hand, consuming edibles can have a longer effect on you, anywhere from 10 to 12 hours after.

How Does the Police Detect Marijuana in My System?

Observations and urine or blood tests.

Officers will make observations on-scene as part of their normal investigation on a suspected DUI. If you are arrested, then you will be asked to provide a breath sample. If you blow zeroes, you will be asked to provide a urine sample. If you refuse, this will be treated as a refusal for DUI purposes (but that’s another topic entirely). The problem with a urine test is that marijuana metabolites can be detected in your system anywhere from 3-30 days after or even longer. And the problem with this is that unlike a breath test for alcohol, it’s difficult to tell if the marijuana was actively impairing the person at the time of driving because the urine only contains the marijuana waste. Needless to say, there are no easy answers with marijuana.   

Were You Charged with A Marijuana or Drug Related DUI in Palm Beach? 

Then call 561-847-4726 for a free consultation on your DUI. We will prepare your defense and advocate for the best outcome in your case. We may even be able to secure a DUI Diversion based on your criminal history and circumstance surrounding your DUI charge. Click here for more information about DUIs or the DUI Diversion.

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