Why Getting a DUI While Taking Cannabis Can Be Tricky

If you have been arrested for a DUI after taking cannabis, or are worried that you might be, you’ll need experienced legal help when the time comes. This is a new area of law in New York, because roadside testing for cannabis or marijuana is not as cut-and-dry as it is for alcohol testing. This complicates both the state’s case and your defense. Attorney Derrick Hogan of Tully Rinckey says that cannabis ingested the night before could still be in your system the next day, but not impair your ability to drive. You shouldn’t get a DUI for that, is what he is saying.

If a DUI due to marijuana is a problem, call for expert advice as you won’t be able to deal with confusion in your case like this on your own.

What the Law Says

DUI arrests occur after a law enforcement office has probable cause to believe that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are operating a motor vehicle. This occurs after a traffic stop or sobriety checkpoint. The probable cause still needs to be tight.

A positive breathalyzer is airtight probable cause for a DUI arrest. Marijuana consumption is not as easy to test for.

Even so, there is much to be known as to the time of ingestion when it comes to cannabis consumption unless there is a witness that can testify they know you just took it. Other situations like the scent of marijuana in the vehicle could build probable cause.

Sobriety Checkpoints

Law enforcement in New York is permitted by the federal Constitution to conduct sobriety checkpoints. If you turn into a parking lot to avoid one, they may have probable cause to investigate, but not if you simply change directions and take a different road.

To be convicted, the burden of proof requires the ingested substance, operation of a motor vehicle, and that operation of the car must have been impaired.

Seek Legal Advice

If you are worried about a DUI conviction, even if you have had prior problems with cannabis or marijuana, that doesn’t mean your life is over. It means you need help with this problem. Managing partner Peter Pullano of Tully Rinckey Law says that new laws or stipulating that prior marijuana offenses are being wiped from your record if those charges are no longer crimes. That can’t play a role in any new problems like a DUI. Seek legal advice as soon as you have a problem with cannabis and DUI because you can’t handle this alone.


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