Los Angeles, CA- In November, Californians approve Prop 64, making marijuana legal for recreational us in the state, but the law had a big loophole. Lawmakers moved to close that loophole by introducing Senate Bill 65.
Prop 64 now makes possession of recreational marijuana legal for up to 28 grams. Included in the law, was a provision that makes it illegal to have an open container of marijuana in a vehicle, but the legislation does not explicitly state that it is illegal to drive and smoke pot. Senate Bill 65 will change the law and make it a misdemeanor to smoke or consume marijuana while driving a car or piloting airplanes or boats, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
Driving under the influence of marijuana
Even though Prop 64 had the loophole mentioned above, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug in Los Angeles and the state. You can be charged with DUI if you have any substance in your system that impairs a person’s mental or physical faculties.
Penalties for driving while stoned
For your first marijuana DUI in Los Angeles, you can be sentenced to jail for a minimum of 96 hours or up to six months depending on the details of your arrest. A conviction will also result in your license being suspended for six months and you paying fines ranging $390 and $1,000. A second marijuana DUI will result in a minimum of 90 days in jail up to one year. You will also lose your license for a minimum of two years and asked to pay fines up to $1,000.
How to challenge a marijuana DUI?
As you can see above the penalties for a marijuana DUI are severe, so you need a DUI defense lawyer in Los Angeles work on your defense. California doesn’t have a per se law in regards to drugged driving charges, so the charges are easier to challenge. With no per se law, prosecutors must be able to prove that you were impaired at the time of your arrest, simply having marijuana in your system is not enough to secure a conviction. Because of the way THC, marijuana’s active ingredient metabolizes in the body and the fact that it can remain in a person’s system for days after it has been consumed, the prosecution can have trouble proving impairment.
A drugged driving conviction can have long-term consequences beyond the criminal penalties, so you must fight your charges. The prosecution is going to work hard convicting you, so you need to have someone on your side working just hard on your defense. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, USAttorneys urges you to get legal help. We can refer you to an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles to work on your defense. Call today and retain an attorney to protect your rights.