Given how permissive the state of California has become with respect to marijuana, there are many California drivers who make the mistake of believing that they can get away with driving while they’re high. This is simply not the case. Just the same as with alcohol, the authorities in the state take incidents of drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of marijuana very seriously, and you can be arrested.

While the DUI laws concerning driving while under the influence of alcohol are just the same as driving under the influence of marijuana, the process by which you might become arrested are slightly different. For this reason, I thought it would be beneficial to review what you can expect if you’re pulled over and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

What Happens If You’re Pulled Over

Just as with an alcohol-related DUI incident, the officer who pulls you over will make a cursory assessment of your state. This will include assessing the way that you’re communicating and acting, as well as whether or not your automobile smells of marijuana smoke. This cursory judgment could also be made based upon your physical appearance — whether you have blood-shot, puffy eyes, for example.

If the officer who’s pulled you over believes that you are operating your vehicle under the influence of marijuana, then he or she will call another officer to the scene. This new officer is known as a Drug Recognition Evaluator, and he or she will have specialized expertise in evaluating whether or not you are under the influence of marijuana or any other drugs. You will be examined by this officer in a number of ways, and he or she may check your pupils to see if they are dilated, or he or she might check your blood pressure and heart rate. If this officer believes, after his or her assessment, that you are, in fact, under the influence of marijuana, then you will be arrested.

Following your arrest, you will be taken to the station. There, you will be required to submit to a blood test, or perhaps another chemical test, that will determine whether or not there is any THC in your system. The result of this test, as well as the Drug Recognition Evaluator’s assessment of your state, is evidence that will be used against you should the case go to trial.

Defending Yourself from a DUI Charge Related to Marijuana Use

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve likely noticed that the manner in which your marijuana intoxication will be judged is highly subjective. While the arresting officers would like you to believe that their assessment is ironclad, this simply is not the case. There are a number of ways in which the Drug Recognition Evaluator’s judgment can be called into question, as well as any chemical tests that you submitted to.

Following an arrest for a DUI that’s related to marijuana, it’s vitally important that you get in touch with a qualified California DUI attorney as soon as possible. I have extensive experience representing clients charged with marijuana-related DUI offenses in the San Diego area and throughout California. I know how to appropriately defend you against these charges, and I can have them dismissed or the potential penalties you face reduced as much as possible. In order to get in touch, you simply need to call (760) 613-5384‬. When you call, I will offer you a free consultation in which we can review the facts of your case and decide upon the best course of action.