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Drive High, Do Time?

Though Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, it is now legal for adults over 21 to purchase and use in Nevada. There are many arguable benefits from legalization including tax revenue and harm reduction, since dispensary sales are tightly regulated with purchase limits and strict ID checks and there is much evidence that cannabis is safer than opiates and alcohol. However, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and Nevada DUI laws have not caught up to the fact that the substance is now legal.

A driver can be convicted of a Marijuana DUI if they have 2 nanograms/ml of marijuana or 5ng/ml of marijuana metabolites in their blood. There are many factors that can put drivers at risk of a cannabis DUI arrest. These include driving too fast or too slow, drifting on the road, having an improperly equipped vehicle, and other violations that allow officers to make traffic stops.

Once adriver has been stopped, signs of marijuana use may lead the officer to conduct a field sobriety test. These may include the smell of smoked pot, red or dilated eyes, impaired memory, or “stoned” behavior like aloofness.

Drivers should take certain precautions to avoid a Cannabis DUI. Do not smoke inside your vehicle, this is also illegal and carries a $600 fine. Do not let your vehicle smell of cannabis smoke. Do not leave wrappers or labels from dispensary products in a vehicle. Remember that cannabis stays in your system for days, weeks, or even months for heavy users. If you have recently used cannabis, especially more than once per week, consider using alternate transportation. If you need to drive, go the speed limit and obey all traffic laws. If you are accused of a cannabis DUI, contact an experienced Criminal Defense attorney like Henry Sotelo.

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