Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you should get behind the wheel after using it. In some situations, a person can be charged with DUI even if they aren’t impaired. This carries various consequences.
Medical marijuana and impairment
If a person drives after using medical marijuana and a police officer stops them, they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). In most cases, this happens when the individual is found to be substantially impaired or somewhat impaired. In either situation, it’s easy for a driver to be charged with DUI if stopped by a police officer and asked to take a sobriety test or submit to a breath test.
Understanding DUI charges without impairment
In some areas, individuals who use medical marijuana can be charged with DUI while driving even if they aren’t impaired. This decision was issued by a Court of Appeals and stemmed from a case where a man with a legal license to use medical marijuana was charged with DUI after police made him stop his vehicle.
Although the man was acquitted of DUI, he was still charged with driving with marijuana in his system. He faced penalties such as one day in jail, a fine of $1,500 and a license suspension lasting one year. The court also ordered him into a rehab treatment facility.
Cases like this show that despite medical marijuana being legal in many states, no one is exempt from DUI laws. With any level of the substance in a person’s system, there is still a risk of intoxication, making it dangerous for everyone on the road.
If you have a legitimate license to use medical marijuana, you might rethink using and then driving. It could help you avoid a potential DUI charge.