What Makes Leesburg Marijuana DUIs Unique
Driving under the influence of marijuana and alcohol are investigated in very different manners, with distinct forms of evidence for each. Marijuana cannot be detected in the blood the same measurable way alcohol can, and this is what makes Leesburg marijuana DUIs unique. A drug DUI lawyer may be able to help clarify some of the other differences.
The Differences Between Marijuana and Alcohol DUIs
The major difference between an alcohol case and a drug case is how officers are trained in making observations. The field sobriety tests are standardized to test for the presence of alcohol and the blood and breath testing has a presumptive number for alcohol.
The legal limit for alcohol in the Commonwealth of Virginia and all other states is 0.08 g/mL. A blood or breath test result above 0.08 in Virginia creates permissive inference that the person is in violation of the statue and driving under the influence of alcohol.
However, there is no similar number for marijuana testing. There is no empirical or quantitative value that indicates a person is impaired as a result of the cannabis consumed. There could be a number as a result of the blood test that a toxicologist could testify about what types of symptoms may be present at that number in other cases.
However, there are many variables that must be accounted for that are unknown such as the frequency of marijuana usage, body weight, metabolism, and other variables that the expert toxicologist must be able to give. When giving opinions on a range of potential signs of impairment, the statute says the permissive inference is that the person is impaired based upon BAC number. With no such number for marijuana cases, it becomes much harder to prove.
Marijuana DUI Evidence
An alcohol case has a certificate of analysis showing the breath test or the blood test results as the most crucial pieces of evidence. The same can be said for a potential certificate of analysis for blood result in a marijuana case.
The blood test or breath tests in an alcohol case are essential, but they are not quite as important in a drug case as they merely provide clues about the level of impairment instead of proof.
A larger point of emphasis is on the rest of the evidence in a marijuana case such as driving behavior, statements about prior or current drug use, statements by the individual that indicate impairment, and physical signs of impairment. These kinds of evidence may be even more important in a marijuana case as crucial evidence that may not necessarily be used in an alcohol case. That includes following instructions on a sobriety test or following an officer’s instructions to provide certain information when answering questions. The answers and observations are more important in drug cases because the margin is tighter.
Necessities to Prove a Marijuana DUI Case
The prosecution must prove all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In a marijuana case, they need to prove that the person was operating the vehicle and that the individual did so while under the influence of drugs to the degree that it impaired their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
The proof of those things beyond a reasonable doubt becomes increasingly important to fill in the void for a lack of empirical data. They include things like field sobriety tests, blood test results, and driving behavior. Most of the evidence in such cases is subjectively collected by the police. This is why it is essential to contact a marijuana DUI lawyer in Leesburg to assist with your case.
Contact a DUI Attorney Who Has Familiarity With Marijuana DUIs
Because of the unique ways marijuana may lead to impairment and can be mistaken for other things, it can be difficult to determine that someone is impaired by marijuana. The toxicology behind marijuana is not the same as alcohol and so the way the marijuana is presented to a fact-finder is different. This is what makes Leesburg marijuana DUIs unique.
This may lead to issues that create uniqueness and understanding when presenting marijuana cases. It is important to find an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about marijuana DUIs who can use their expertise instead of trusting statements made by the arresting officer, toxicologist, and prosecutor. Call today to schedule a consultation for your case.