In Connecticut, possessing up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use is now permissible by law. The recent decriminalization of marijuana has affected other types of criminal cases, as well. For decades, the police have used the smell of marijuana as a reason to search a driver’s car after pulling them over. This often led to evidence for more serious charges, such as DUI. Because marijuana is now legal, though, the police cannot use these observations to legally justify a vehicle search or arrest.
When you face DUI charges based on marijuana use or are accused of possessing more than the legal limit, an attorney at our firm can work to gather evidence of police misconduct during the traffic stop or investigation. Contact a Shelton marijuana DUI lawyer at Ruane Attorneys to learn about your rights and how to protect them.
DUI Standards for Marijuana
A marijuana DUI is a unique situation. Connecticut law has not established a scientific amount of THC—the psychoactive chemical in marijuana—in a person’s blood or urine that indicates they are under the influence. While the law presumes a driver is under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over a specific limit, similar standards do not exist for marijuana or other legal drugs.
Police may still bring charges if a person is found with marijuana in their vehicle over the 1.5-ounce limit. These situations often involve illegal searches and seizures, making it essential for the defendant to work with a Shelton marijuana DUI attorney who can challenge the police’s investigation methods.
How Marijuana DUIs Are Different From Alcohol Charges
The prosecution can prove an alcohol-related DUI fairly easily using scientific testing and BAC levels. On the other hand, marijuana and other drug DUIs are extremely difficult to prove—they hinge on an analysis of what is in the driver’s system. The police must rely on blood or urine testing at the police station, rather than a simple breath test, to determine the presence of any marijuana metabolites or other substances.
Proving the driver used marijuana is not enough to secure a DUI conviction, though. The prosecution must use the standard common law definition of intoxicated driving: that, due to the use of marijuana, the person could not drive with the caution and care of a sober person under the same or similar circumstances. Marijuana DUI cases are rare in Shelton and throughout the state because this is a difficult standard to prove, as our lawyers can attest.
Contact a Shelton Attorney to Discuss Marijuana DUIs
Having an attorney familiar with the specific nature of marijuana DUI allegations is essential when facing these unique charges. It is difficult for the state to prove these cases, and a Shelton marijuana DUI lawyer can often work to get evidence thrown out or charges dropped.
With this ever-evolving area of law, the prosecution may try to use a drug recognition expert or other types of evidence recently made available in Connecticut. In these cases, you need legal counsel who has worked with drug recognition, testing technology, and DUI investigation protocol. Call Ruane Attorneys today to discuss your situation and work toward a positive resolution.