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Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Washtenaw County

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Washtenaw County.jpgDriving under the influence of marijuana in Washtenaw County is a crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, contact my law office for a consultation. Read on to learn more about the laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana in Washtenaw County, Michigan and how I can help possibly have the charge asserted against you reduced or your case dismissed. 

The Impact Marijuana Has On Brain While Driving

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or a combination of controlled or illegal substances. (See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.625 (1), (2)(c), (4)(c), &(8).). Driving under the influence of marijuana can impair a driver's judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time. Driving while impaired by marijuana reduces a driver's peripheral vision giving him/her tunnel vision. Drivers with a blood concentration of 13.1 µg/L THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, are more prone to increased weaving within the lane similar to drivers with 0.08 breath alcohol (the threshold for impaired driving in Michigan).

Medical Marijuana & Michigan's Zero Tolerance Per Se Statute

The Michigan Supreme Court has determined that the protections of the state's medical marijuana act do not trump the state's zero tolerance per se law for the presence of THC in the blood. This means that qualified medical marijuana patients may be charged with violating Michigan's zero tolerance per se DUI Operating with the Presence of a Controlled Substance ("OWPCS") statute. The state is not required to show proof of marijuana impairment in order to obtain a DUI conviction for OWPCS. See People v. Koon. The state does not have to show that the driver's mental or physical faculties were impaired.

Criminal Penalties

In Michigan, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana. If a driver has any amount of marijuana in his/her system, he/she will be subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers (DUI conviction).

A convicted first time offender will face a fine up to $300, up to 93 days in jail, and up to 360 hours of community service. A second time offender will face a fine between $200 to $1,000, spend between five days and one year in jail, and up to 30 to 90 days of community service. A third time felony offender will face a fine between $500 and $5,000, be required to serve between 30 days in jail or one to five years in prison as well as community service.

Driver license sanctions by the Michigan Secretary of State will depend on the crime the defendant is convicted of as well as the number of prior DUI convictions.

Hire Washtenaw County DUI Attorney

A conviction related to marijuana impaired driving can result in serious criminal and driver license consequences. If you have been previously convicted of a DUI, you face more severe sentencing and license sanctions for a new conviction. I invite you to contact me law office to discuss your case in confidence. We can discuss the police stop and your chemical test results to determine your legal options. Call 734-274-6567 to speak with me directly.

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