Marijuana DUI

Did you know that recreational marijuana is now legal to consume in Avon and throughout Connecticut? Because of this, many people think that they can consume marijuana and then operate a motor vehicle. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal. Learn more about how the laws are evolving on this page.


Marijuana DUIs in Avon cannot be disregarded, as marijuana laws and decriminalization of marijuana in Connecticut are changing rapidly. Driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal in Connecticut, and the consequences of doing so consist of jail time, a license suspension, fines, and more. Despite alcohol having more obvious and sometimes more serious effects than marijuana, the rules and punishments of a marijuana DUI are not something to be overlooked.

Alcohol vs. Marijuana DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Connecticut has similar treatment to driving under the influence of alcohol. If an officer suspects a DUI, they will pull over the suspect for a driving violation and examine the driver’s actions. Field sobriety tests will then be administered, and the driver’s behavior will continue to be assessed.

A large difference between those suspected of alcohol DUIs and marijuana DUIs is that alcohol DUIs can easily be detected through the use of a breathalyzer test. If the breathalyzer test results do not match up with the behavior of the suspect, a different type of test can be requested to check their urine or blood.

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Blood and urine samples do not always provide the most accurate results, as THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis, is stored in fat cells instead of blood, and urine is impacted by metabolism. This means that THC may show up on a blood or urine test even if it was ingested many hours, days, or even weeks ago. The ingredients may not be active in a person’s system, but they may still show up on a report. As such, it can be difficult to determine if a person is driving under the influence or if they have inactive THC in their system.

Detecting Marijuana

A new Connecticut law makes it necessary that police are trained in a detection procedure called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). This allows for drug recognition experts (DREs) to use evaluations as evidence for DUI cases and license suspensions. Like the breath test, there is an implied consent law for a DRE evaluation. This is an evaluation given by a specially trained officer which will assess a suspect’s behavior and how they react in a field sobriety test. Also included in a DRE is a check of muscle tone, pupil size, body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse.

In Connecticut, the way that stopping and searching vehicles is handled is changing as well. This is because an internal bulletin sent to law enforcement from the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training stated that police cannot use the smell of marijuana as probable cause to stop and search a vehicle.

Connecticut law has created a systematic procedure for determining whether a person is intoxicated by drugs. The officer will follow a 12 step process. A breath test is first followed by an interview of the arresting officer. Next, a preliminary examination is conducted along with a pulse check, followed by an eye examination and a divided attention psychophysical test.

Vital signs and a second pulse check are done, examination of muscle tone, pupils, a check for injection marks, and a third pulse check are done. A statement is received from the suspect, and a toxicological examination of blood, urine, or fluid can be requested. Finally, the DRE will make a determination regarding intoxication.

Facing a marijuana DUI in Avon can have serious consequences. If you find yourself in this position, contact us for help.

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