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Officers have difficulty with cannabis traffic stops

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2020 | DUI |

Even though it has not been legalized for recreational purposes in Florida, cannabis usage is on the upswing. Many drivers get behind the wheel after they have taken the substance. This results in their driving while impaired, and this is illegal. However, law enforcement often faces challenges in determining whether a stopped driver is under the influence.

When a driver is drunk, it is relatively easy for an officer to document it and make an arrest. All the police officer has to do is administer a Breathalyzer test while the motorist is stopped. If over the legal limit, the officer can immediately arrest the driver. The police officer does not have the same technology when it comes to cannabis. Some officers are able to give a blood test at the scene but it is difficult and the results are not immediate. Now, there is work underway to develop a test that can detect the presence of cannabis through the driver’s saliva. This would give an immediate reading and enable officers to apprehend drivers.

There are still challenges for law enforcement. It is not always apparent whether the driver is really under the influence even if there is cannabis in the system. With alcohol, there is a legal limit over which the driver is inebriated. However, there is no equivalent standard in the law when it comes to cannabis.

Driving under the influence of cannabis is still illegal. Those who have been charged with it can still face stiff penalties under the law. They should not face the charges on their own. DUI attorneys could help clients deal with the charges against them. They may assist their clients to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor or may take the case to trial if no deal is offered or if the client chooses to do so.


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