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Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

Is there a marijuana DUI test?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2023 | DUI - Marijuana/Cannabis |

The law is clear: in Oklahoma, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. But these two substances are not the same thing. Though both impair your driving ability, their effects on the body differ. And one of them is much harder for the authorities to detect accurately.

When a police officer or sheriff’s deputy on patrol in Oklahoma City suspects a motorist of drunk driving, they will pull over the vehicle and conduct a series of tests on the driver, probably including the roadside breath test. Though breathalyzers are not foolproof, they tend to be fairly reliable indicators if a driver is over the legal limit for alcohol and that probable cause exists to arrest them on a DUI charge.

Not a reliable option for cannabis

No such device exists when it comes to detecting cannabis on a person’s breath. A blood test can detect THC, but those results can be misleading. Unlike alcohol, which the body metabolizes fairly quickly, THC lingers in the body for up to 30 days, well after the high has faded. This can essentially create a false positive blood test result for DUI. Without any other supporting evidence, there is a good chance you could get convicted for driving while high based on an arrest weeks after using.

Field sobriety tests

It is also common practice in Oklahoma for police to have a suspected impaired driver perform field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn test and the gaze nystagmus test. However, these tests are only validated to test if someone is alcohol impaired. Research has suggested that standard field sobriety tests do poorly when testing if someone is high on marijuana.

If you believe you were falsely accused of DUI based on marijuana, including medical marijuana, you could have several options for confronting the charges. You cannot enforce your rights until you know what they are, which is where your defense attorney comes in.