It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. A Marijuana (stoned) driving can be prosecuted under California Vehicle Code section 23152(f). A driver cannot smoke marijuana while driving a car and a passenger cannot smoke marijuana while riding in a car (Health and Safety Code section 11362.3(a)(7) and (8). It is also illegal to possess an open container of Marijuana (HS 11362.3(a)(4)).
However, Los Angeled DUI Attorney experienced that The Los Angeles City Attorney Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office do prosecute Marijuana DUIs with less vigor then they do alcohol-related DUIs. If you are arrested for a Marijuana DUI, please call our office at (818) 921 7744 to talk to the Los Angeles Marijuana DUI attorney.
Both prosecuting agencies in the Greater Los Angeles area are less aggressive in prosecuting Marijuana DUI because the science to support the conviction is simply not there. Unlike alcohol-related DUI, there are no broadly recognized studies that link a specific level of marijuana in the blood to impairment. Even more so, prosecuting alcohol-related DUI is not linked to impairment; instead, Los Angles DUI prosecutor can rely on statutory (and recognizable throughout the world) level of “per se” impairment, the “.08% statute”, to wit, California Vehicle Code 23152(b), typically charged as count 2 of a Los Angeles DUI complaint.
In February 2014 year, the New York Times published an article discussing difficulties in prosecuting marijuana DUI’s. The authors point out that a 2012 study on the influence of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) revealed that only 30% of people who are under the influence of THC fail field sobriety tests. Compare it to 88% of drivers who fail field sobriety tests while under the influence of alcohol. Another interesting conclusion from the New York Times article is that “stoned driving is less dangerous than drunk driving”.
Yet, despite some helpful conclusions for those of us who use marijuana, many toxicologists believe that any measurable amount of THC will cause a two-fold increase in the risk of accidents. This is a troubling statistic until alcohol impairment is considered which at a level of .08 for 20 years old driver increases the chances of a fatal accident by a factor of 20. Drivers that are a little older have 9, as opposed to a 20 fold increase in the risk of a crash.
It is also clear that the statistics for the increased risk of accidents are flawed by “stoned driving”. For example, many Los Angeles prosecutors and police officers will use a urine test, an incredibly unreliable way of testing because it measures metabolites and not active substances. Urine or blood test has to be used for “stoned driving” analysis because THC is not detected in the breath. Most aggressive jurisdictions, like Colorado and Washington, have limits to criminalize “stoned driving” (equivalent to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or five parts per billion). And according to some experts, this level is too low because THC is stored in our fatty tissues and released slowly overtimes. Some drivers can be at this level the next day after smoking.
If You Are Arrested For a Marijuana DUI in Los Angeles your case can be prosecuted very aggressively by special prosecutorial units. To defend a marijuana DUI, you will need the help of an aggressive DUI defense attorney in Los Angeles who also understands the science behind marijuana DUI. You can find such help by calling our office (818) 921 7744 .