Having a DUI is confusing enough, but a marijuana DUI isn’t something you hear about very often. However, it is more common than most of us realize and something that isn’t as hard to charge as a DWI. But, what does a marijuana DUI mean? And is it a case that can be fought?
Marijuana DUI: Moving Violations
Having pulled over people, moving violations tend to be where most officers feel the most comfortable. They observe the vehicle and look for traffic violations. This tends to be the reason the defendant was pulled over and maybe even the reason for the field sobriety test. However, any violation that provides contact will be one that can be used to obtain clues and information that might lead the officer to believe someone is under the influence. Moving violations are favored, but any legal contact with the driver is acceptable. Moving violations tend to be the cases that work best for DUI detection, as they are directly correlated to the inability of the driver to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety, the four categories of violations are: problems maintaining lane position, problems speeding and breaking, vigilance problems and problems with judgment.
Marijuana DUI: The Observations
Around fifty to seventy-five percent of the time, problems maintaining proper lane position is the problem. Weaving, straddling a line, swerving, turning with a wide radius, drifting, almost striking a vehicle or other object or speed and braking problems are usually between forty-five to seventy-five percent of the time. Problems stopping, decelerating or accelerating erratically, Varying speed, Slow speed or vigilance are likely markers fifty-five to sixty-five percent of the time. Inappropriate or unusual behavior or Appearing to be impaired are also cues. However, these fluctuate much more as far as accuracy and probability. Of course, there are countless more. But, the point is that all it takes is one for the officer to have a reason to pull you over. Once they have, they might smell something. Or maybe your pupils will be dilated. You might think they don’t see that you are high, but you can’t see through their eyes, and they are trained to know what to look for. It is easy to see, when you know to look for it.
Marijuana DUI: Distinctions in Terminology
Each term has specific guidelines of what does or not constitute this behavior. And while some might seem similar, there are subtle distinctions. For example: swerving is the sudden jerk of the vehicle, as the driver attempts to stay in the lane. It results from the sudden pull of the steering wheel and sometimes is the result of thinking they are leaving the road or losing control, even when that is not the case. Weaving is a patterned movement from one side of the lane to another. There is an urban myth that this only applies if you veer outside the lines. That is merely a myth, and this still applies if you stay within them. Drifting would be comparable to weaving, this means that the vehicle is leaving the lane. This tends to be on both sides but is not confined to that detail and most times the accused will return to the original path. While these all seem the same, there are minor distinctions that distinguish them.
Marijuana DUI: The Report
The most prominent and common mistake tends to be in the officer’s report. In some cases, the violation alone is enough, and the supporting evidence will close the case. But, a well trained or experienced attorney will try to pry apart the report. If there is no reason the defendant was pulled over, the rest of the case will fall apart. Holes in the story will leave similar vulnerabilities. It may even make the evidence inadmissible. An officer with a detailed and communicated report creates a more solid foundation for the stop and likely the charge, but those are not common.
A marijuana DUI case doesn’t mean impending doom. It is something that can be managed with the right attorney. You will need someone with enough experience and training to detect the vulnerable spots in the case. Maybe it’s the report; maybe it’s the evidence. This is something they have seen a thousand times before and have dealt with the man of those times. You can start here. Once you have set up an appointment, reading more about a marijuana DUI will set your mind at ease. You can try this article. It will also help you ask the right questions. You want to make sure that you give as much detail about the event as you can. You never know what small item might break the case against you. That is what your attorney is for.