The Problem of Detecting and Proving DUI in Case of Marijuana
Using Cannabis for recreational purposes is legal now in California and since DUIC has always been a crime, recreational cannabis will increase the DUIC cases. As in the case of driving under the influence of alcohol where some people who are innocent get arrested based on the standard used by police while making an arrest. The problem of innocent people being wrongfully arrested of DUIC is greater than DUI-alcohol because cannabis is different. A century-old research of alcohol consumption and driving impairment, it is generally believed that everybody who has blood alcohol content above 0.08 percent is under the influence of alcohol for the purpose of driving.
The law enforcement evaluation tools currently in operation are not proper for evaluating DUIC. A 12 step Drug Recognition Evaluation sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police is designed to assist an officer to decide whether a suspect has recent prior exposure to one of seven drugs including cannabis and is not designed to help evaluate whether a person is impaired for driving purposes.
Police officers are forced to make DUIC arrest decision based on the evaluation tools that are ill-suited and observations associated with cannabis use according to their training like inability in crossing one’s eyes, dry mouth, red and watery eyes or the odor of marijuana among others. Cannabis consumption has the potential to cause impaired driving just like prescription medication, but simply driving a vehicle after consumption of Cannabis is not DUIC. So, until and unless there are more sophisticated and advanced methods of investigation, people are going to get charged with a DUI of cannabis and there will be a lot of innocents getting arrested.
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