The laws on marijuana have been changing rapidly throughout the United States, as have the laws on marijuana DUI. In 2021, Connecticut passed legislation making recreational marijuana use legal. However, it is important to keep in mind that just because marijuana use is now legal does not mean that you can drive under the influence of it in Milford or anywhere else in Connecticut. This is due to the intoxicant nature of marijuana and the negative effects this has on safety for the driver themself and everybody else.
Marijuana DUI Penalties
There are numerous penalties associated with a marijuana DUI. These penalties include jail time, a license suspension, fines, and imposition of an interlock system. However, it is much harder to detect and prove a marijuana DUI than an alcohol-related DUI. This is due to the inability of the police or prosecution to use a BAC test. Also, the signs of intoxication are more varied, and in many ways less obvious, for marijuana as opposed to alcohol.
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The most typical situation in which this arises is when a person is pulled over for a common infraction, like speeding, only for the police officer to conclude, after interacting with the driver, that the driver is under the influence of something. At this point, a BAC test will be administered, and if it comes up negative for alcohol, a drug recognition expert officer that is trained in the detection of drug use will be called upon to determine if the driver ingested something other than alcohol.
To become a drug recognition expert, an officer must pass the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training. This training allows the evaluations of the officer to be used in cases concerning DUI or license suspension. This evaluation replaces the BAC in these situations, and the implied consent doctrine applies.
- The ARIDE evaluation is a 12-step process that is still evolving and being refined. The steps include:
- The officer conducts a breath test.
- The DRE officer interviews the arresting officer.
- A preliminary examination and pulse check are conducted.
- An eye examination is conducted.
- The officer will apply a divided attention psychophysical test.
- The officer checks vital signs with a second pulse check.
- The officer then will re-examine the pupils, and the muscle tone, look for injection marks, and do a third pulse check.
- From there, the officer will receive a statement from the person, request a toxicological examination such as urine, blood, or another fluid, and finally determine the level of impairment.
While use of marijuana in a safe manner is permitted in Connecticut, this does not extend to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Connecticut is rapidly increasing the number of drug recognition experts and becoming better able to attempt prosecution of this infraction. Because of this, if you face a Milford marijuana DUI, it is imperative that you receive adequate legal representation. Please call Lady DUI today if you are experiencing issues related to a marijuana DUI.