Strategic Law Command

Survey shows Californians don't know marijuana DUI laws

Many of us are aware that driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher can result in a DUI arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, a recent survey by Eaze shows that 46 percent of Californians do not know how much marijuana they are legally allowed to smoke before driving. The survey questioned over 500 licensed drivers in our state who all used marijuana within 30 days of completing the survey.

Almost 45 percent of people survey admitted to driving after consuming marijuana, even though most people, over 80 percent, knew that driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. The survey also showed that 62 percent of people did not know the penalties they may face if they do drive under the influence of marijuana.

So what is the answer? According to state law, drivers are not permitted to use any drug that impairs the ability to operate a vehicle safely. This includes marijuana, prescription drugs, over-the counter medications and other illegal drugs.

Unlike the 0.08 limit for alcohol, there is no actual THC blood concentration limit here. In other words, there is no set level at which a driver would be considered legally impaired by marijuana.

While there is not set limit, one may be charged with a DUI for drugged driving, if the driver fails field sobriety tests or exhibit other signs of impaired driving (e.g., slurred speech, bloodshot eyes). Assembly Bill 127 also apparently may help address the confusion by funding and authorizing the California Highway Patrol and other agencies to research the effects of driving while under the influence of marijuana more thoroughly.

If found guilty of drunk or drugged driving, one faces various legal consequences, including license suspension, fines, and even jail time. And, repeat offenders face more serious penalties than first-time offenders.

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