DUI Lawyer San Francisco, CA
If you are pulled over by a police officer for suspected driving under the influence (DUI), it is possible that the officer will request that you submit to a field sobriety test. What happens for individuals who have been issued a medical marijuana registry card who is asked to submit to a field sobriety test and what are the consequences if they refuse?
Driving After Using Medical Marijuana
When it comes to state laws regarding driving and marijuana, the laws are clear that having any amount of the drug in your system while driving is illegal. The laws state that individuals are not supposed to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle in any way if they have any amount of marijuana in their system.
But these laws do not apply for people who have been granted permission for the lawful consumption of marijuana if they are registered with their state’s medical marijuana program.
As a result of these laws, an individual using medical marijuana is allowed to drive in the same way that a person can legally consume alcohol and still drive. However, even if using medical marijuana, a person cannot drive if they are impaired by the use of cannabis. While it is legal to drive after using medical marijuana, it is advisable to use a designated driver or public transportation.
For individuals who have received a medical marijuana registry card, it is important to be aware that the card is considered automatic authorization to submit to a field sobriety test. This means that if an officer has reasonable grounds to request a field sobriety test, the driver does not have the right to refuse to submit. A refusal to submit to the test can result in driver’s license suspension or revocation.
If the officer suspects that the use of medical marijuana is the cause for impaired driving, all of the normal DUI laws apply. The arresting officer may testify in court as to the impairment of the driver at the time of the arrest. Importantly, while the use of medical marijuana is permitted, it does not excuse or allow a person to drive while impaired.
While the focus here has been on field sobriety tests, it is also important to note that there are severe penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test. Refusing to submit to a chemical test can result in a suspension of the person’s license. This suspension is even longer if the person has a previous suspension or DUI conviction.
The best choice if you have consumed medical marijuana is to avoid driving entirely, even if you believe that you can do so safely. If you are facing charges of impaired driving, you should reach out to a skilled DUI lawyer San Francisco, CA trusts at the Morales Law Firm as soon as possible.