Though the use of medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Florida since 2017, and voters approved an amendment to the state constitution allowing lawmakers to make recreational use of marijuana legal, that law has not yet been passed. Law enforcement officers have begun to receive training in detecting driver impairment from the use of marijuana. But a relatively small percentage of officers on the street have qualified as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), and even those officers who are DREs are making arrests based on subjective evaluations of a driver’s impairment.
Since people’s bodies react to, and process, THC in different ways, and because there is no reliable technology to measure THC in a person’s body in a field situation like a roadside evaluation. Plus, no objective legal limit has yet been set for detectable THC, and most marijuana-related DUI arrests are based on the opinion of the arresting officer.
What Does This Mean For You?
If you’re stopped by law enforcement and suspected of DUI, you should be respectful and provide identification and insurance information as requested. The officers may attempt to field sobriety exercises, many of which were developed to detect alcohol impairment. Cooperation with these exercises poses little risk to your future defense, if needed, and may earn you some goodwill with the officers requesting them.
If you are arrested, you can help yourself by knowing your rights, and law enforcement’s limits: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that LEOs can compel suspected DUI drivers to submit to breath tests without first obtaining a warrant, but they must have a warrant before collecting blood samples without consent. If they cannot show you a warrant, politely decline requests for your blood until you’ve spoken with an experienced DUI attorney.
Orlando DUI Attorneys Help You Protect Your Rights
If you’re facing the consequences of a DUI arrest related to marijuana, alcohol, or medication, the experienced Orlando DUI attorneys at the traffic law firm of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. can help. Your defense begins the moment you’re arrested, and getting a lawyer involved from the beginning gives you the best chance of preserving your rights and mounting an effective defense. Contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.