Connecticut Drug DUI FAqs: Drug Testing


Will I Be Tested For Cannabis?

You can be drug tested if the police suspect you of DUI. Finding cannabis in your car means that the police can bring you in, process you, suspect that you’re under the influence, and charge you with DUI. They may ask you to take a urine test. But they don’t get instant results at the Police Department for your cannabis test. So you will get arrested, have to go to court, and after your first or second court date, you might get the results of those tests. So you might have a case pending for 30, 60, or 90 days before you get the drug test results. All the while, you are facing DUI charges, as well as a license suspension and even job loss. 

What If I Pass the Intoxilyzer Test? Am I Free to Go?

Not exactly. After a passed intoxilyzer test, the police may suspect that you’re under the influence of drugs. In this case they will ask for a urine or a blood test. Connecticut law allows you to refuse the blood test, but if you refuse the urine test, your driver’s license will be suspended for longer than if you take it. You should consult with a lawyer before deciding to take or refuse these tests. 

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When Will I Be Drug Tested?

You probably will not be drug tested at a Connecticut courthouse after your sentence, but if you are sentenced to jail, a drug test will be run when you go into DOC custody to make sure that you are not under the influence. Also, if you are scheduled to meet with probation that day and they have any inkling that you might be under the influence, they will ask you to give a urine sample at that time. 

Is There a Marijuana Breathalyzer?

There currently is not, but I suspect that companies are working on that right now. Marijuana can be detected in saliva for up to 30 days after it is consumed. 

Can I Smoke Marijuana and Then Drive in Connecticut?

Yes, you can. You can smoke cannabis and drive in Connecticut just like you can have a drink at a bar and drive in Connecticut. The key factor is determining when are you so impacted by that THC that you cannot operate your motor vehicle safely. That’s where subjective judgement comes in.

How Does Consuming Marijuana Impact Your Ability to Drive?

Marijuana is a central nervous system depressant, which will make it less likely that you’re going to react in a timely manner to outside stimulus if you are under the influence. That may mean that it is harder for you to navigate a turn, judge getting on the highway, or judge merging with traffic. There may be a lot of factors that can impact you being under the influence of marijuana and operating a motor vehicle. 

What is the Problem With THC Testing? 

That is a great question and one I get a lot. As a lawyer, what you have to understand is that THC in your system just shows something that happened at a prior point in time. Let me give you an example. Let’s say I go camping with my family. We build a fire and put it out when we leave. The next day, you go to the campsite and see the ashes from the fire. Those ashes tell you that a fire was recently burned, but they don’t tell you when exactly it was burned, how long the fire burned for, how tall the flames were, etc. All those ashes do is tell you that a fire existed at that site at some point before. Was it yesterday? A week ago? We just don’t know. 

That’s the problem with THC testing the way that it is conducted in Connecticut. What it tells you is that something existed at a prior time, but it never explains if somebody was under the influence at a prior point in time.

How Long Can THC Stay in Your System?

THC can remain in your system for up to 30 days or longer if you are a chronic user. THC will be absorbed by your fat cells, and it will sit there until those fat cells are burned off.

How Do Blood and Urine Tests Play a Role in Marijuana DUI Cases?

Blood and urine tests for THC are not reliable to prove that somebody drove high beyond all reasonable doubt. What they do is tell us at a prior point in time, somebody had THC in their system, but they can’t tell us the ultimate question, which is: at the time they were driving, are they unable to operate their motor vehicle?

What Do Saliva Tests Tell Us?

Saliva tests are reliable in determining the presence of THC, but certainly not reliable for telling the concentration of THC. The change on a saliva test is usually a color metric test, which allows them to just see a simple change in color when the presence of THC is there. But what happens afterwards is determine whether or not that person was truly influenced by that THC, and that’s not reliable in a saliva test. 

How Do Drug Test Results Impact My Case?

The good thing is that you don’t have to disprove drug test results. Instead, the state of Connecticut has to prove that they are accurate and that they show that you are impaired. But, having a dedicated lawyer who understands the science of THC is your first step in fighting an illegal and improper DUI marijuana case.

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