Medical Marijuana Users Routinely Drive Drunk, Survey Says

It is obvious that you should not drink and drive. However, when it comes to medical marijuana, people often use the drug and get behind the wheel a short while later not realizing this behavior can also lead to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. If you or a family member is facing DWI prosecution, our trusted New Jersey DWI attorneys can help. With extensive experience in criminal defense law, we understand how to vigorously defend your rights and make sure you obtain all the protections afforded by New Jersey law.

The Survey

Researchers at the University of Michigan Addiction Center recently surveyed 790 Michigan adults who used medical marijuana for chronic pain in 2014 and 2015 about their driving habits over the last six months. According to the report, 56 percent admitted to driving within two hours of using marijuana, 51 percent reported to driving while a “little high” and 21 percent stated that they drove “very high.” Since medical marijuana is legal in almost three-dozen states – this can have serious implications for individuals on the road.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in New Jersey

Driving under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey violates the DWI laws the same way driving under the influence of alcohol does. The challenge with measuring marijuana-related impairment is that there is no clear test the way there is to measure alcohol impairment. While blood and urine tests can detect marijuana, these tests cannot tell when that marijuana use took place and do not clearly designate a level at which a driver would be considered under the influence. In New Jersey, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher while operating a motor vehicle, you are considered cognitively impaired to the extent that it considered dangerous to drive. There are a number of ways to check someone’s BAC, the most common being the administration of a Breathalyzer test but there is no comparable quick and efficient test for marijuana.

Marijuana Case Defense

Being charged with a drug DWI does not automatically mean you are guilty. Law enforcement must follow certain procedures and protocol when it comes to handling DWI cases. We will examine the circumstances of your stop and arrest to make sure your rights were not violated. Among other things, we will work to determine: whether the initial stop was constitutional and if there was proper and reliable testing for marijuana. If we find that police failed to follow proper protocol, we may be able to have your charges reduced or the case dismissed altogether.

Contact a Knowledgeable New Jersey DWI Attorney  

Medical marijuana has been legal for a number of years in New Jersey but the laws surrounding this drug can still be murky. Since there is no specific amount of marijuana that must be present in a person’s body, officers largely rely on behavior and other circumstances to arrest people for medical marijuana related DWIs. If you were arrested for a marijuana-related DWI, you need to contact a seasoned New Jersey drug DWI attorney immediately. These charges carry serious penalties and should not be taken lightly. Call us today at 877-450.8301 or contact us online.

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