While it’s common knowledge that you can get a DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, can you get a DUI for marijuana?
Absolutely. As an addiction treatment center in Philadelphia, we know that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in different states, including Pennsylvania. Despite the legalization of marijuana in areas like Colorado and Washington, marijuana DUI laws in Philadelphia are very much set-in place. If you’re a frequent marijuana user, then you may want to keep reading.
Can You Get A DUI for Weed?
While many people immediately think of alcohol when they come across the term “DUI,” you can get a DUI for marijuana as well. States like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and several more uphold DUI laws that state that a person may not drive, control, or operate a vehicle under the influence of cannabis, specifically THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that’s responsible for the high that users feel. While marijuana doesn’t stay in the bloodstream for a long period of time, THC can stay in a person’s system for weeks. The effects of THC can disorient a person and even cause anxiety and paranoia, making it dangerous for the person to operate any vehicle.
The side effects that THC produces are what hooks people. A marijuana overdose is also possible and can cause adverse effects. As a psychoactive component, using THC frequently can lead to tolerance and dependency. At this point, it may be difficult to quit without professional help. At Banyan Treatment Centers Philadelphia, we offer a partial hospitalization program that helps people recover from addiction and learn how to incorporate relapse preventative measures in their daily lives.
How Do They Test for Marijuana DUI?
Unfortunately, there aren’t any specific tests that have proven effective across the board when testing for marijuana DUIs. Some marijuana tests for DUI that have been used in states like Colorado include testing for Carboxy THC. These tests aren’t always accurate because a person could still have traces of THC in their system from weeks prior. Another test that isn’t always effective is a marijuana DUI roadside test. It requires that people who have been pulled over have a THC blood test to determine whether they have more than five nanograms of delta-9 THC in their blood; however, having this many nanograms doesn’t guarantee impairment while some people become impaired by a lesser amount.
Marijuana DUI Penalties
While the penalties of a DUI for weed vary depending on the state, the general DUI penalties for marijuana include:
- Misdemeanor charge
- Possible time in jail ranging from 3 days to 18 months
- Fine ranging from $500 to $2,500
- License suspension
- Substance abuse treatment
- Community service
- Highway safety school
- Attend a victim impact panel
Even if you live in a state where cannabis is legal, don’t drive under the influence. Marijuana DUI laws do exist in several states. Not only can you get hurt or cause a fatal accident while driving under the influence of weed, but you can also face some serious legal charges.
Many people believe that cannabis is harmless, but that’s not the case. THC is addictive and it can be hard for long-time weed users to quit.