While Californians may be able to use medical marijuana, they should also understand that they could be charged with driving under the influence of it in some cases. In six states that allow marijuana, the law sets specific blood concentration limits in order to determine whether someone is impaired.
AAA has called for those laws to be rescinded. The organization believes that the tests are flawed and invalid. According to AAA, regular marijuana users may have blood concentrations that are consistently higher than the set limits but not be impaired while people who do not smoke as often may be impaired even with blood concentrations that are below the limit.
The states with such limits on the books include Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Montana. Others are currently considering similar laws. AAA indicates that using law enforcement officers who are trained to identify indicators of impairment is a better approach for determining whether or not a driver is impaired by marijuana than the tests that are used in those states. A New York University professor stated that driving under the influence of marijuana causes far less impairment than does driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while distracted and that it should be reduced to a simple traffic violation.
People facing DUI charges for driving while they are allegedly impaired by marijuana may want to get help from a criminal defense attorney, as a conviction could result in significant penalties. In some cases, an attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charge. In others, an attorney may be able to secure an agreement for the charge to be reduced to one that is less serious.