If you're pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), the officer will likely ask if you've been drinking alcohol or using drugs. But what's the difference between an alcohol DUI and a marijuana DUI? Below, the California criminal defense team at The Law Offices of Kirk Tarman & Associates shares the key differences between these two types of DUIs.
Alcohol and THC Legal Limits
Every state sets a legal standard for how much alcohol is allowed in a driver's system while operating a motor vehicle. The legal limit in all states is .08 BAC and any driver found to exceed this limit will face legal consequences.
When it comes to cannabis use, there is no consensus on what level of impairment requires legal action. Although there is general agreement that marijuana intoxication can impair driving ability, there is no blood test or accepted threshold for THC presence by which DUI charges can be reasonably determined. Without clear laws and regulations around THC intoxication, it becomes difficult for officers to fairly enforce DUI laws. It also makes it difficult for drivers to know when their body has built up enough THC that they can become impaired or arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis products.
Alcohol and THC - Different Effects While Driving
Regarding alcohol, an excessive amount can lead to poor judgment, impaired coordination, and slower reaction times. At its worst, intoxication can cause serious physical and mental harm with potentially fatal consequences.
On the other hand, marijuana carries different risks. The chemical THC in the plant can cause confusion, paranoia, compromised memory, and anxiety in some users. While these effects can vary depending on various factors, such as the method of consumption and body chemistry, using marijuana in any form necessitates a certain degree of caution.
Overall, both substances certainly have the potential to produce undesirable side effects that individuals need to be aware of when consuming either one for recreational purposes.
Charged With a DUI in California?
There are few experiences more intimidating than being pulled over for a suspected DUI, regardless of whether you had alcohol or marijuana in your system. The police officer may ask you to participate in a field sobriety test or take a breathalyzer, and if any evidence of intoxication is found, you could face arrest and charges. At this point, contacting a California defense attorney specializing in DUI law is essential. In some cases, there may be mitigating factors that can help you avoid fines, jail time, or other penalties associated with drunk driving. No matter your situation, an attorney can provide advice and work on your behalf to protect your rights.
Our team at The Law Offices of Kirk Tarman & Associates has extensive experience handling various types of DUI cases and can provide reliable guidance throughout the entire process. We understand how difficult this circumstance can be and guarantee professional and compassionate care from start to finish. Don't hesitate to contact us when confronted with possible DUI charges — we'll ensure your rights are protected every step of the way! (909) 658-7341