Marijuana DUI

Now that marijuana use is legal, we are seeing an uptick in recreational use here in Connecticut. However, just because marijuana has been legalized does not mean that you can drive after consuming it. If you face a New London marijuana DUI charge, learn how to defend yourself on this page.


Now that marijuana possession and use are legal in New London and throughout the state of Connecticut, it is important to familiarize yourself with the possibility of the marijuana DUI. Even though cannabis is legal in Connecticut, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of it is not. This is a similar situation to the alcohol DUI – even though alcohol consumption is legal, it is illegal to drink and drive. However, there are many differences between the alcohol DUI and the marijuana DUI. We discuss more of these specifics on this page. If you are a marijuana user, read this information to avoid a marijuana DUI!

Differences From Alcohol DUI

There are some differences between the alcohol DUI and the cannabis DUI that you should be aware of. It is considered illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. However, BAC is not a measure used for marijuana. The state is still trying to determine how much marijuana is too much marijuana when it comes to impairment. Arguing that marijuana was in a person’s system but that this did not significantly impact their driving may be a defense that your attorney uses for your case. Since the law and science is ambivalent around this point, there could be room to make a defense.

Detecting marijuana is also a different process than detecting alcohol in a person’s system. When dealing with an alcohol DUI, the police may ask a person to perform a breathalyzer test to test their BAC or to perform three standardized field sobriety tests which are supposed to determine intoxication. None of these options are very reliable when it comes to marijuana detection. There is currently no breath test to determine if a person has marijuana in their system, though some companies are working on this.

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Likewise, the standardized field sobriety tests were designed to detect alcohol, not marijuana. A different evaluation given by a qualified drug recognition expert (DRE) is used to detect drug use, including the use of marijuana. There are some similarities to this testing system and the standardized field sobriety tests. Both employ the use of divided attention tests, but the drug evaluation tends to be more involved. A DRE will check a person’s physical state, ask them questions, and have additional chemical testing done to determine drug impairment.

Similarities to Alcohol DUI

Regardless of these differences, there are some similarities between the alcohol and the marijuana DUI. Once you are arrested, the process will be the same. This means that you will go through the same court and DMV processes for both marijuana and alcohol related DUIs. In addition, the penalties that you face are the same. While the defenses may differ based on your specific situation, it is a good idea to contact a local DUI defense lawyer for assistance. Finding a lawyer who has worked with marijuana DUI cases in the past may be in your best interest as you combat this charge. For more information and assistance, feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to help you through this DUI process.

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