More commonly referenced as drugged driving or driving under the influence of Marijuana – is a serious offense. This particular offense is known to have the same repercussions as if you were officially stopped by an officer while being intoxicated (alcohol). Word for word, the law pertaining to driving while under the influence of drugs in California reads:

“It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle”.

Driving under the influence of Marijuana and alcohol in California have the same legal definition

Affecting the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his or her ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that any ordinarily prudent and cautious man.

According to the “Vehicle Code section 23152b”, any person who has a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or higher is guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, Marijuana does not fall under this section because there is no measure of impairment. Unless there is a chemical test administered on scene or the chemical test is refused, the California DMV cannot suspend a suspects driver’s license. Although, if a suspect is convicted, the driver’s license is able to be suspended depending on the severity of the conviction.

There are basic testing procedures the officer will follow and that is what is dissimilar between the two. For instance, if you had been intoxicated, you will be given a breath test with is what is known as a breathalyzer. Please understand, that these tools cannot detect marijuana or any form of drug. If the situation calls for it, a urine or blood test may be given.

Adverse to alcohol, proper detection for cannabis can take a sizable amount of time. It is worthy to note that three forms of testing are used: Hair analysis, saliva testing, and urinalysis. All of which differ in terms of when the marijuana was used. One thing that cannot be derived from these tests in the level of impairment. What is delivered are the concentrations from the tests which show whether or not there is passive use or active use, the length of use, and the time since the last use of Marijuana.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have a medical marijuana card in California and you are driving under the influence of marijuana, that is not a proper defense. The legal consumption of marijuana is not going to be observed if you are inside of a vehicle.