Drug-related charges

The Legal Consequences of Driving Stoned in California

By March 21, 2019 No Comments

As the laws revolving around marijuana have relaxed significantly in California, it is jarring to think of people who have been or were in prison for many years after a pot bust, but new laws such as those surrounding the topic of driving stoned could be confusing to everyone involved. As of January 2018, California became the sixth state to allow the legal, recreational use and sales of marijuana, accompanying medical use that had been going on for over 20 years. And while other states such as Colorado and Washington had preceded them in the US, legalization of marijuana meant a new way of life for many who had already been smoking or making ‘edibles’ under the radar for years.

This does not translate to relaxed driving laws, however, or even that of the ‘open container.’ As today’s laws stand, you can go to a dispensary and buy weed (usually from an educated retailer called a budtender) in an upscale atmosphere—usually paying upscale prices too; however, many consider it worth the price to be able to purchase such goods legally now. Once you leave a dispensary, your purchase must remain in a closed container. For good measure, you may want to place it in the trunk, and this goes for transporting seeds, plants, and pipes, bongs, and other items. Driving under the influence of marijuana should be considered on the same level as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and avoided at all costs as you could find yourself paying huge fines, dealing with big legal hassles, and even end up behind bars.

If you are stopped and law enforcement suspects you of being high—and with legalization laws changing they are more vigilant about being educated on this than ever before—they can give you a blood test. This is already much more common than you think, with a positive test leading to the same penalties as typical driving under the influence. In some cases, you may actually be dealing with a drug recognition expert who has undergone an in-depth training course regarding how to handle drivers under the influence of marijuana. The California Highway Patrol has also trained thousands of their officers in a new program regarding Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement.

If you need legal assistance with a criminal matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws including drug charges, white collar crimes, DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault charges, and violent & serious felonies. At the Dolan Law Offices, we provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.

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