Bay Area, CA – Medical marijuana is legal in California, but that won’t keep a person from being charged with a DUI if they drive high. Even though laws about marijuana consumption are getting more liberal, DUI laws are not, and there are some troublesome consequences associated with a conviction for driving high, probably more than you realize.

More and more Americans approve of using medical marijuana for medical purposes, but Californians in the past rejected the notion of making marijuana legal for recreational use. Even so, the use of marijuana is common among drivers in the state, and drugged driving is on the rise.

Under California Code 23152, driving under the influence of any drug, whether it is an illicit drug like methamphetamine, medical marijuana or a prescription drug is strictly forbidden. California takes their drugged driving laws a step further by banning any person who is addicted to drugs from driving a car altogether unless they are in a drug treatment program.

If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs in the Bay Area, USAttorneys urges you to speak with a DUI defense lawyer. The consequences, which we’ll discuss, are severe, and state prosecutors will work

For your first marijuana DUI, you can be ordered to jail for a minimum of 96 hours in jail or up to six months in jail. Your license will be suspended for at least six months, and you will pay a fine ranging between $390 and $1,000. You will also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your car, the costs of which will come out of your pocket.

Should you make the mistake of driving high again and find yourself convicted for the second time, you face between 90 days in jail up to one year in jail. You will also lose your license for at least two years and face fines up to $1,000.

While California is tough on convicted DUI offenders, the state doesn’t have a per se law DUI law, so it easier to challenge your drugged driving charge. Because there is no per se law, the state must be able to prove you were impaired when you were arrested. That can be a difficult task with marijuana because of the way THC—the drug’s active ingredient—metabolizes in the body.

It is dangerous to drive while impaired by any substance, even cough syrup, which is why the state laws are hard on offenders. You have a lot of resources and experience behind the effort to convict you, so you need someone to defend your innocence and your rights. Making matters worse is the fact that you may face other charges such as possession or drugs or drugs paraphernalia. You need dedicated and skilled DUI defense attorney who understands California law working on your defense.

A DUI lawyer from the Bay area can help you avoid a drugged driving conviction.