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Marijuana DUI

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Greenwich and throughout the state of Connecticut. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal. Detecting marijuana DUIs is a difficult process with a lot of room for error. We discuss this process here and provide some information on how you can defend yourself if you face this charge.


Marijuana laws are rapidly changing in Connecticut and across the United States as a whole. But, the fact remains that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on a public road while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana is considered an intoxicant, and the law does not care if the intoxicant is legal or illegal with respect to driving under its influence. You can learn more about Greenwich marijuana DUIs here.

Marijuana DUI Detection

Typically, what occurs is, a police officer has pulled someone over and believes them to be under the influence of something. After the field sobriety tests are performed, if the BAC reading comes back negative for alcohol, they will then call upon a drug recognition expert to determine if the driver is under the influence of marijuana.

In Connecticut, to be a drug recognition expert, the police officer must complete the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training, which allows their evaluation to be used against the defendant in a criminal or DMV-related hearing.

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  • The system used by the drug detection expert is evolving and becoming ever more refined. However, there is a basic 12 step system followed at this time. The 12 steps are:
  • The expert will conduct a breath test.
  • They will interview the arresting officer.
  • The expert will conduct a preliminary examination and pulse check.
  • They will conduct an eye examination, a divided attention psychophysical test, and then check vital signs and perform a second pulse check.
  • The expert will then re-examine the pupils, examine the muscle tone, check for injection marks and take a third pulse check.
  • Finally, the DRE will get a statement from the suspect, request a toxicological examination such as blood, fluid, or urine, and finish by determining the level of impairment.

DUI Penalties

Marijuana DUIs may result in many penalties, which can be severe. The potential penalties include prison time, license suspensions, fines, and community service. Detection of marijuana use is in some ways harder to determine than alcohol when it comes to DUI, because the standard BAC test does not work for marijuana. This is because it interacts with the body differently than alcohol does, and it does not contain alcohol. THC is the main part of marijuana that gives a euphoric feeling, and there is not a standard way to determine how much THC is in the system yet. Instead, Connecticut uses a field sobriety test that is much more of a physical evaluation.

Although it may be more subjective and difficult to prove a marijuana DUI than an alcohol DUI, marijuana DUIs do occur in Greenwich and will only occur more frequently as the testing for this improves. The punishments for marijuana DUI are the same as an alcohol DUI and should be taken seriously. It is imperative that one in this situation have adequate legal representation. Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, it is in your best interest to contact the reputable attorneys at Lady DUI today.

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