In California, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act was passed in 2016. The initiative allows a person to engage in recreational use of marijuana. But can you carry cannabis in your car? Are you allowed to smoke while driving a car? Read on to find out more about marijuana legalization & driving laws in California.
Drivers or passengers who are found to be smoking in the vehicle while driving a motor vehicle shall be punished as an infraction.
An infraction is the violation of an ordinance, administrative regulation, a municipal code, or a state rule. Also known as a petty offense, infractions are not punishable by incarcerations. They are treated as civil offenses that carry minor punishment.
However, when it comes to violation of driving laws, the minor punishment can carry grave consequences. While you may not be sent to a prison for smoking cannabis while driving a car, your driving license may be suspended. This can cause serious difficulties in commuting to work or school.
In addition, you will have to pay a fine that can range from $70 to $10,000. The fine will be higher if involved in a car accident that results in injuries.
The answer is no... Sort of – Not at least until the feds determine what is the measurable amount of THC concentration that can result in impaired driving. THC is an abbreviation of Tetrahydrocannabinol that is the psychoactive component of marijuana. However there are standardized marijuana roadside tests being evaluated currently, and mouth swab tests that are currently being used. This is an area of law still under development and you should consult one of our listed attorneys to discuss your current matter.
Unlike with alcohol and the well-known 0.08 limit, the state authorities have not yet defined a legal limit for THC above which a driver is said to be intoxicated. Having said that, there are tests such as Drug Influence Evaluation (DIE) where the officer looks at signs of physiological impairment such as red eyes, pupil size, and blood pressure. The officer can arrest you for substance intoxication that can result in penalties including driving license suspension.
If you were arrested in Rancho Cucamonga for DUI, or anywhere else in San Bernardino or Riverside Counties, contact us today to discuss the specific circumstances of your arrest and potential defenses.