Like alcohol and other drugs, marijuana is a substance that can impair
one’s ability to operate a vehicle. As of April 2015, Georgia passed
a bill that would make marijuana legally obtainable throughout the state.
However, driving under the influence of marijuana remains a serious offense,
and one that will require legal advocacy.
What if I am pulled over after having consumed marijuana?
If you get behind the wheel after consuming marijuana, a routine traffic
stop might take a more serious turn. A police officer might see or smell
marijuana within the car or might be tipped off by certain signs, such
as: red eyes, lethargy or overt nervousness. In an alcohol-related DUI
case, a police officer would give you a breath test to measure the amount
of alcohol in your system. However, with marijuana, no such test is currently
in use in Georgia. The police office might proceed offer a field sobriety
test, similar to those given for suspicion of alcohol-related DUIs.
If you perform poorly on these tests, the police officer could arrest you
on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana and order a blood
test in order to confirm the amount of THC within your system. Only after
this test has been completed and intoxication has been proven will you
be booked on charges of a marijuana-related DUI.
Are blood tests in Georgia accurate representations of intoxication?
The process by which blood test results are examined in Georgia are flawed
and not always indicative of intoxication or impairment. Simply, blood
tests are given to determine the level of THC in your system. However,
this is not an appropriate indication of impairment, as THC can remain
in your system for weeks with no impairing effects. Instead, impairment
should be judged by the amount of active metabolites in your system. Currently,
Georgia’s tests results do not consider such levels of active metabolites.
What are the penalties for a marijuana-related DUI offense?
The consequences of a marijuana-related DUI conviction are exactly the
same as those of an alcohol-related DUI offense. These include the following
possible penalties for those over the age of 21, and differ on a case
by case basis:
• License suspension for up to 12 months
• A minimum of 40 hours of community service
• Between $300-$1,000 in fines
• Jail time for up to one year
• Clinical drug/alcohol evaluation
• Completion of a Drug Risk Reduction program
These penalties are intensified byadditional offenses with increased fines
and jail time.
What legal help is available for me?
At the Thomas & Willis, LLC, our goal is to help you avoid the consequences
of a DUI conviction. With Georgia’s flawed system of detecting intoxication
and impairment, it is imperative that you have an attorney in your corner
who will fight for you and protect your rights. With over 100 years of
combined DUI experience, our lawyers know how to navigate the complex
waters of a marijuana-related DUI case and grant you the best representation possible.
Get in touch
with our skilled DUI lawyers in Atlanta today for a free case evaluation.