Driving under the influence does not only apply to alcohol. It also applies to any substance that may impair a driver’s state of mind while they are behind the wheel.
This ‘extended definition’ has made many states attempt to develop laws barring other mind-impairing substances from being consumed before driving. This past summer, California legislative officials attempted to establish laws that would prevent marijuana users from driving while under the influence of the drug. But, the move ended up proving unsuccessful in the end.
‘While under the influence’
We talked to an oakland county criminal lawyer. Driving under the influence, also informally known as drunk driving, is a major offense that depicts the offending party operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (or, in some instances, another drug that would be offered at your local Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy).
In most countries, notably the United States, drunk driving is a serious offense as it puts other parties, including the driver, at serious risk of injury and even death. Those who are prosecuted for driving while drink, especially if they injury or kill another party, are subject to heavy fines and/or prison sentences for their crime.
Many jurisdictions also prosecute people who are found in physical control of a car while intoxicated. Even if they are not actually driving the vehicle, they are still subject to prosecution due to the weight of such a crime.
As mentioned, people who drive while intoxicated can potentially be prosecuted for begin inebriated by substances other than alcohol. That is something that the California legislature attempted to challenge this past summer.
The Assembly Public Safety Committee prevented legislation that would ‘create a DUI offense against marijuana users’ from passing. The proposed legislation would have caused a ‘2 nanogram per milliliter blood limit for those with THC in their system. THC is notably the active ingredient in marijuana, and is known to remain within the bloodstream for several days long after the initial high dissipates.
The proposed laws drew heavy criticism from those who use medical marijuana, which is permitted by law to use within the state. One of the main criticisms is that the bill, if it passed, would have made ‘[medical] marijuana users liable for a DUI, regardless if they were actually impaired at the time.’
The prospect of developing new laws to enforce DUIs against those impaired by marijuana is a topic of concern in states where marijuana use is legal. Many law makers fear that ‘stoned’ driving will be on the rise due to a lack of laws that essentially regulate and discourage people from committing such a crime.
Whether those states will come up with a solution for such an offense remains to be seen as marijuana-related laws mature and is best when talked with a criminal lawyer monroe county.