Cannabis and Driving – What Are the Rules and Regulations?

August 31, 2018

More Americans are for legal marijuana than ever before. Nine states, including California, now allow the recreational use of cannabis, and 30 states have approved medical use of the substance. With these new California drug laws, it’s important to understand the rules about driving under the influence of marijuana.

California DUI Laws

Although some states have established a legal THC limit for drivers, lawyers for reckless driving have successfully argued that a medical standard for cannabis impairment has not been determined. In California, marijuana use is covered under existing DUI laws.

If you are pulled over for driving under the influence, the officer will conduct a field sobriety test. You may also be asked to take a blood, breath or urine test. Some DUI checkpoints require drivers to submit to a cheek swab test.

If any amount of THC is found in your system, you can be charged with a DUI under new laws that took effect in January 2018. You can also be arrested if cannabis or paraphernalia is found in your vehicle unless it is secured in the trunk or in a sealed container.

Penalties For Marijuana DUI 

If you are convicted of a DUI under marijuana driving laws, you could face the following penalties:

  • Immediate license suspension
  • At least two days of jail time and up to six months for a first offense
  • Minimum fines of $1,800
  • Mandatory driver safety classes at your expense

In addition, smoking or ingesting marijuana products while driving carries a $70 fine.

With such harsh penalties, it’s important to retain an experienced lawyer who can make sure your rights are protected and represent your interests in court.

If you need a California DUI attorney, contact The Ticket Clinic for a free consultation. We have advocated for the rights of drivers in more than 300,000 cases since 1987 and have 10 convenient locations in the state.