In many states around the country, it is legal for people to use marijuana, either for medical or recreational purposes. Most states have restrictions surrounding marijuana use, though, which usually include prohibitions against driving while impaired. As marijuana use becomes increasingly legal, courts are attempting to navigate the complexities of marijuana DUI cases and what constitutes adequate evidence of impairment. Recently, an Arizona court ruled that people cannot be found guilty of DUI crimes for driving with inactive marijuana metabolites in their blood. If you are charged with a marijuana DUI offense, it is in your best interest to speak to an Illinois DUI defense lawyer about what defenses you may be able to assert.
The Arizona Ruling
It is alleged that the Arizona Supreme Court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a case against a man who was charged with driving while impaired following a blood test that revealed evidence of marijuana. In its decision, the court noted that the state argued that Arizona’s zero-tolerance marijuana law created a blanket ban on the presence of any marijuana metabolite in a person’s body when they are driving a vehicle, even if the metabolite does not cause impairment.
The court rejected the state’s argument, stating that the legislature’s intent was to prevent impaired driving. As such, the reference to metabolites in the law was limited to those that were actually capable of causing impairment. In other words, the court held that people could not be convicted of DUI offenses simply because there were metabolites in their blood that demonstrated prior marijuana use but did not cause impairment. Continue reading →