San Diego Marijuana “Pot” Driving Under the influence Charge
People arrested for driving with marijuana in their system here in San Diego often pose no danger to the public, unlike drivers with alcohol and other drugs. Indeed, studies have shown that drivers that have ingested pot responsibly can drive safely, in some cases better than those who have not. However, police and law enforcement, in general, believe that most people who smoke pot are “stoners” and potheads who deserve to be mistreated and are not worthy of a fair shake. Moreover, The San Diego DMV has a much tougher time suspending people’s licenses if they have been arrested for a San Diego marijuana driving under the influence DUI. Astonishingly, many prosecutors continue to charge people with marijuana-related San Diego DUI in cases where the toxicology shows only THC metabolite.
You want to examine and challenge these cases. Do not allow the prosecution to treat a San Diego Marijuana “Pot” DUI like an alcohol-related offense. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
The legal use of recreational marijuana comes the concern that more drivers may decide to get behind the wheel after using pot. More studies need to be done to understand when all people are impaired by cannabinoids in order to enact legislation to establish per se levels of impairment similar to the .08 levels for alcohol. In response to the new laws allowing for the free use of pot, many police departments here in San Diego County and the CHP are ramping up their training of officers in the area of DUI enforcement involving drugs such as cannabis. The reality is many of the officers making contact with these people lack sufficient training on San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI cases. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
Will the DMV suspend my license with a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI driving under the influence charge?
If you are convicted of VC 23152e the DMV will step in and suspend at that time. In most cases, challenging the DMV will help get a “set aside” from the DMV. The key is to avoid the San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI charge on the court side to avoid the suspension.
Top Tier Defense Lawyer Mark Deniz nows the science and the law to win marijuana related DUI cases in San Diego. As a former prosecutor of almost ten years, he knows how to attack the governments’s case. If the lawyer you hire does not understand the scientific principles behind the testing and evidence collected you have little chance of getting a favorable resolution. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
So how do you begin to break down a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI?
Marijuana or Cannabis is “Delta-9-Tetraydrocannabinol” (THC). THC is primarily metabolized to “11-hydroxy-THC (THC-OH or OH) which is psychoactive or active. The 11-Hydroxy-THC is then rapidly metabolized to the 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH, THC-A or COOH) which is non-psychoactive or inactive, meaning your body is not being impaired either mentally or physically if the only metabolite is present. The DA or prosecutor most likely does not understand the biochemistry associated with the testing and will only see what he or she wants to see to convict you of driving under the influence, your attorney must be able to interpret the lab findings to beat the charges. The law in California is clear: If the accused is not impaired by the drug he or she is not guilty of a San Diego Marijauana Pot DUI.
Did you know that driving after ingesting marijuana is not necessarily illegal. In fact, many folks who have been smoking pot earlier in the day and later get in their car and drive are not “impaired” to the degree necessary to be considered DUI, however most cops are not properly trained to distinguish the guilty from the innocent. They are not trained in whether the person has built up a tolerance, asking if the person used Sativa or Indica marijuana, etc. Unlike alcohol, marijuana use is not subjected to “per se” laws that prohibit driving after reaching a certain level so the investigation and arrest are very subjective from officer to officer, this leads to injustice in many cases.
Many people have a doctor’s recomendation to use marijuana legally in California. However, it remains against the law to ingest cannabis to the degree you are impaired to drive, regardless of the reason you use it. Recently the state enacted Vehicle Code 23152(e) which makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug. But what does “under the influence” actually mean in the eyes of the law? To be illegal the person first must be impaired to an “appreciable degree”, something more the simply showing signs of use. The law requires the person be no longer able to drive with the same caption as someone that is completely sober? There is no per se level of intoxication when it relates to a drug vs. alcohol. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
San Diego DUI Defense Attorney Lawyer Mark Deniz knows the scientific facts of Marijuana and driving: THC peaks rapidly in the first few minutes after inhalation, often to levels above 100 ng/mL in blood. In the decline, it quickly comes down to single-digit levels within 1 hour. High THC levels are therefore a good indication that the subject has smoked recently. THC can remain at low levels, 1-2 ng/mL, for 8 hours without any measurable sign of impairment. Chronic users can stay at 2 ng/mL for 24-48 hours after ceasing use.
Police do make mistakes
Why most cops get it wrong on the roadside when it comes to San Diego Marijuana DUI impairment detection: First, most officers, depending on their training will misinterpret some or all of the symptoms of impairment allegedly caused by pot. Notably, many officers will contribute bloodshot and watery eyes as being associated with a person being under the influence of cannabinoids. However, the DRE studies all point to a conclusion that this symptom has NOTHING to do with impairment. Moreover, the commonly reported symptom of “lack of convergence” is very often misunderstood by many officers because they fail to conduct the tests properly. They do not adhere to the proper protocol and misjudge the distance from the bridge of the nose to the stimulus and therefore improperly conclude the suspect failed the test. Further, the “rebound dilation” observations and “reaction to light” are almost always overstated in an effort to find the individual to be impaired.
Most chemical tests used by law enforcement may be flawed when it comes to determining levels of impairment. Indeed, one of the more common tests administered to those arrested for drugged driving is the ruin test, however many scientists concur that this mode of testing is seriously flawed. In one scientific study it was revealed that urine testsdo not detect the psychoactive component in marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrohydrocannabinal) and therefor
e in no way measure impairment; rather they detect the non psychoactive marijuana metabolite THC-COOH (Carboxy), which can linger in the body for days or weeks with no impairment effects. Because of THC-COOH usually long elimination time, urine tests are more sensitive to marijuana than other commonly used drugs. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is perhaps the most overcharged crime in San Diego because most police officers lack the training and experience to adequately determine impairment of the drug. With the passage of California compassionate use laws, more and more folks are ingesting marijuana legally and the police are finding more ways to arrest them for possible DUI. In San Diego, a DUI can occur one of two ways. The first is when a person has been consuming alcohol and is too impaired to drive or has a .08 % or more of alcohol in his blood. The second and far less common is when the individual has ingested some drug such as marijuana and the ingestion of that marijuana has impaired the person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. No particular concentration of cannabis in the person’s blood is required, unlike that for alcohol. Typically the police officer will testify to a variety of objective symptoms of impairment in order to justify the arrest and prosecution of “driving while stoned”. Drug cases, and in particular marijuana, present a host of issues in the criminal case due to the lack of scientific correlation studies on impairment related to the operation of a motor vehicle. In many cases, an experienced attorney on your side will make all the difference. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
Urine Tests & San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI cases
One of the more disturbing issues that have arisen in the last few years is that of passive inhalation of pot and the effects it has on a urine test. In a recent study, volunteers were subjected to second-hand smoke in a small room and later they were tested for the presence of THC in their urine, it showed positive. The standard test for a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI is a urine test. In San Diego, ordinarily, a person arrested for driving under the influence will be required to submit to either a breath or blood, however when drugs such as marijuana are suspected the choice is limited to blood or urine. Because most people will choose to pee in a cup over having a sharp needle stuck in their arm, the most common test seen is that of urine. Problems can come into play with marijuana urine tests. The most often asked question is how long does marijuana stay detectable in a persons urine?
It is fairly well accepted in the scientific community that marijuana metabolite (a breakdown product) is detectable in urine for an extended period of time compared to other drugs. Initially, it is important to define what is meant by a marijuana metabolite. Ordinarily, this term refers to a specific breakdown product of marijuana called delta-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (otherwise known as THC). What is crucial to understand in the context of a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI prosecutions is that carboxy THC is not psychoactive and has no effect on one’s physical performance or ability to drive an automobile safely. Carboxy THC is an oily substance that accumulates in a person’s body fat over time after marijuana ingestion and is slowly released into the blood and excreted into the urine as a waste product. This is the primary reason why carboxy THC is detectable in the urine for extended periods of time compared to that of other drugs and their metabolites. Since the effects of marijuana seldom last beyond several hours, the presence of carboxy THC in the urine sample collected after an arrest for a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI does not necessarily prove that the individual was “under the influence” or impaired by the marijuana at the time of driving his or her motor vehicle. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.
How long the THC will stay in a person’s system and be detectable by a urine test depends on many different factors. How frequent the person ingests marijuana, how sensitive the test is, and the recency of the consumption all come into play. Recent scientific studies in the area have revealed that the smoking of a single marijuana cigarette can stay in a person’s system from one to sometimes three days. Other studies have shown that heavy smokers of marijuana (daily use for six months or more) can show positive for THC in their urine for up to two months after the last consumption.
To combat this problem the police, in recent years, have begun implementing DRE programs. DRE stands for “Drug Recognition Examination” the process involves a multi-step approach of field evaluation. The object of the DRE is to detect and identify specific drug impairment of the driver arrested for a DUI. Marijuana and other drugs are purported to be detectable using the process. However, the examination is not as accurate as the police claim and the DRE is often not performed in the correct manner. The DRE evaluation takes about 30 to 40 minutes to perform correctly. Although some Courts have ruled the procedure admissible in a criminal prosecution, many attorneys and legal scholars have argued the contrary.
You can see how marijuana can stay in a person’s system for one day and up to 2 months depending on the potency, and frequency of ingestion. however since what is at issue in a San Diego Marijuana Pot DUI or driving under the influence prosecution is whether the person is at that time impaired by the drug, these factors can create significant defenses if handled by an experienced attorney familiar with this area of the law. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, APLC to be proactive and begin working on your case at 858-751-4384.