Marijuana DUI

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Middletown and Connecticut as a whole, some people are driving under the influence of marijuana. Keep in mind that this is still illegal, even if consuming marijuana is ok. On this page, we outline the process of detecting a marijuana DUI and the consequences that you might face if you are convicted.


As laws surrounding the legalization of marijuana are influencing Connecticut, it is important to look at marijuana DUIs. Driving while under the influence of marijuana in Middletown is not legal, and the consequences for doing so can be license suspension, fines, jail, and others. Although alcohol can have more clear and sometimes more severe impairments, marijuana DUI laws and punishments are just as real as those for alcohol DUIs.

Alcohol vs. Marijuana DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) and driving under the influence of alcohol are handled very similarly. Once the arresting officer suspects a DUI, the suspect is pulled over for a driving violation, and then their behavior is analyzed and observed. A field sobriety test is administered, and the driver’s behavior is further assessed.

It is easier to test drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol than it is to test those suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, as a breathalyzer test can be used to detect alcohol. If the breathalyzer results do not match the suspect’s intoxicated actions, the officer can request a blood or urine sample to get more information.

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However, keep in mind that two tests are not very accurate when it comes to determining if someone is driving under the influence of marijuana. This is because the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is not stored in blood but in fat cells. THC may be stored in the body for days or weeks, even if a person is not actively under the influence. This makes it difficult to determine if the driver was high at the time that they were driving.

Detecting Drugs

Police are required by Connecticut law to be trained to detect drugs through a procedure called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). This permits license suspensions and DUI cases to use expert evaluations as evidence for drug recognition. Like a breath test, there is an implied consent law concerning a DRE evaluation, which is when a trained special officer will look at the way a suspect is acting and how they react during field sobriety tests.

DREs will evaluate a suspect’s pupil size, body temperature, blood pressure, muscle tone, and pulse rate. An internal bulletin sent to law enforcement by the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training is changing the way stopping and searching a vehicle is being handled, which stated that officers can’t use the smell of marijuana as probable cause to stop and search a vehicle anymore.

Connecticut has developed a systematic procedure for determining if a person is intoxicated by drugs. There is a 12 step process to the drug evaluation process. A breath test is done first, then there is an interview of the arresting officer, followed by a preliminary and pulse examination, an eye examination, then a divided attention psychophysical test. Next, vital signs and a second pulse check are administered, pupils and muscle tone are looked at, injection marks are checked, and there is a third pulse check. A statement is received from the suspect, determination of impairment is made, and a toxicological examination of blood, fluid, or urine is requested.

Changing marijuana laws in Connecticut means that laws on driving under the influence of marijuana and the procedures to detect such actions are changing as well. Call Lady DUI today if you have questions about marijuana DUI or have been arrested for a DUI in Middletown.

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