California permits its residents to consume cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, but driving under the influence is still illegal. At the Law Offices of Todd Landgren, we know how to defend you against a DUI charge, which may sometimes result from faulty testing equipment. As reported by the Orange County Register, cannabis testing devices currently in use by law enforcement may be unreliable.
You may legally smoke, drink or eat marijuana as much as you desire on your own personal premises in Southern California. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after using or consuming cannabis, however, might lead to a DUI charge. If you are pulled over by the authorities while driving, you may be given a tetrahydrocannabinol test if the arresting official has reason to believe you are impaired. Unlike the test that is given to measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration level, the current equipment used for chemical testing may not be able to detect exactly how much THC is in your system.
Because THC is stored in a person’s fat cells, its traces may be discovered in your hair, urine and nails long after its ingestion. It might be difficult to pinpoint exactly when a person consumed cannabis and law enforcement must determine that the alleged intoxication at the time of arrest is due to cannabis. If there is a strong odor of marijuana or heavy smoke coming from your vehicle, a field sobriety test may be given. It is up to the prosecution to prove that a DUI charge is a result of marijuana consumption in order to be convicted.
Our page about DUI offenses provides more information on the types of penalties you may expect from an alcohol or a cannabis-related charge.