Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Could smoking medical marijuana get you a DUI?

Posted: Aug 27, 2012 6:08 PM Updated: Aug 27, 2012 6:20 PM 

By Elizabeth Erwin – bio | email

PHOENIX (CBS5) -In Arizona you can get a DUI if you seem impaired – it doesn’t matter what your blood alcohol content is or what kind of drugs are in your system.  Right now the same goes for pot.
“I think a lot of this is yet to be determined, but I can tell you how I think it’s going to shake out,” said attorney Marc Victor.
Victor has seen his fair share of DUI cases.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 19 years,” he said.
He seemed like a good place to start with our questions about how Arizona’s DUI laws will work with medical marijuana.
“If a person is impaired because of any drug, whether it’s marijuana, whether it’s alcohol, then they’re going to have a problem under the DUI law,” Victor said.
Arizona’s DUI law has a couple different parts.  One we’re all familiar with said if your driving is impaired you’re probably going to get a DUI.  But there’s another part you might not know about.
“People don’t understand this section. Merely the fact that it’s in your system, without any impairment at all, which means you could be perfectly safe driving down the road, not a danger to anyone at all and yet still a violation,” Victor said.
Marijuana can stay in your system for days, meaning if you smoked Monday you could still get a DUI that weekend. That means even if you can legally smoke pot, you legally can’t drive.
“The way I believe this is going to shake out is if the person is a qualifying patient and they have a card to use marijuana, then I think and I suspect in order to harmonize the provisions of our new law with the provisions of our old law that the courts are ultimately going to say that it’s a free pass,” Victor said.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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