The Truth About Marijuana DUI Testing
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The Truth About Marijuana DUI Testing

The Truth About Marijuana DUI Testing

In the wake of the new legality of marijuana for recreational use, it’s frequently been brought up that Nevada residents are unsure of the rules and regulations regarding a marijuana DUI and are need of clarification on their rights when it comes to drug testing for marijuana while driving.

DUI’s are treated the same way in Nevada, regardless of whether you’re under the influence of alcohol or pot.  If you are a regular pot user, you may not actually be impaired after minimal use.  However, you are definitely still in danger of being convicted if you are suspected of being impaired, are subsequently tested and found to have marijuana in your system.

Hiring the right DUI lawyer in these cases is imperative because, in many instances, these charges can be reduced significantly.  When facing the potential of having a DUI conviction on your record for 7 years for employers, landlords and loved ones to see, wouldn’t you rather pursue an avenue that involves potentially reducing those charges or having them dismissed altogether?

If you are a current marijuana user, or are thinking of starting up, there’s much you should know about the parameters for use.  Below is information on the latest legislation that deals with how you’re tested for drugs if pulled over, how authorities attempt to determine if you’re high, and what you can do to prevent getting into trouble.

The Latest Legislation Regarding Marijuana DUI Testing

Currently, Nevada is set to implement blood testing in place of urine testing in DUI convictions that are related to marijuana. It’s important to note that this had already been taking place in Washoe County, but up until May of this year, had yet to be implemented statewide.  As of the second week in May, the Senate gave the green light.

The reasoning behind the switch is that urine testing does not test for the amount of THC in your system, and it can only determine whether you’ve ingested marijuana sometime in the past.  Urine testing is ineffective at determining whether you are currently impaired, and thus, has led to seemingly wrongful and unjust arrests or convictions here and in other states.

In short, Nevadan authorities aren’t letting you off easy, and they are interested in making sure their arrests and subsequent convictions are taken care of correctly by enforcing drug testing that has a proven history of being accurate.  However, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, blood testing for impairment due to marijuana use is not a perfect science.  Just because it can test for traces of marijuana in your system, doesn’t mean it’s capable of testing for impairment.  

Complexities of Determining Impairment from Marijuana Use And how to Avoid Having to Deal with It

According to NRS 484C.110, it is a crime in Nevada to drive if you’ve ingested marijuana, “to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control or a vehicle.”  This sentence can largely be up for interpretation.

A lot of steps can be taken to prevent being pulled over and accused of driving in this unsafe manner.  Things like speeding, texting while driving, or committing other well-known violations make you an easy target for onlooking authorities. Ultimately, if you’ve used pot and are unable to follow the basic rules of the road, you shouldn’t be driving.  

NRS 484C.110 goes on to say that it’s a crime to drive while, “the driver’s blood contains 2 nanograms per ml. of marijuana metabolite.”  This sentence is much more straightforward.  If you’re pulled over and the officer decides you should be tested, and you have that amount in your system, you’re going to need a lawyer.

This component of the law has sparked some controversy.  It’s well-known, as previously stated, that frequent users of the drug have developed higher tolerances.  As such, these users might not actually be impaired while 2 nanograms per ml. of marijuana metabolite is in their system.  Nevertheless, this is the law, and it’s clear that you do not have to be “high” to violate it.

Final Thoughts on Marijuana DUI Testing

Unless you’re testing your own blood, you won’t be able to determine how much is in your system prior to getting in your vehicle.  This is the risk you take when you decide to smoke pot.  You may be perfectly fine behind the wheel after a few hours, but if you’re pulled over, you may be in for a world of trouble.  

It’s no surprise that having a DUI on your record can be very damaging to your personal, professional and financial well being. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by driving while impaired.  However, if you happen to find yourself facing DUI charges, you’re going to need a lawyer in your corner who understands the system and who can help you to mitigate punishment or fight the charges.  

Call DUI Lawyer, Richard P. Davies at any time for a complimentary consultation.  He has helped many people to deal with the complexities of the court system and to protect their rights.