Driving while under the influence of Marijuana is illegal. A Tempe DUI defense attorney and a police officer will both agree that marijuana is said to impair judgment, critical thinking and actions of drivers who may be under their influence. This might lead to such drivers making inappropriate decisions such as over speeding, ignoring traffic signs and rules, moving too close to other vehicles or late braking.
An Arizona criminal attorney and a law enforcement official will both tell you that it is very difficult to tell when someone is driving under the influence of marijuana. Unlike alcohol testing, there is no existent breathalyzer that can be used to determine if one is driving under the influence of marijuana or not. However it is even harder to escape from marijuana tests since THC (the chemical element found in marijuana) can still be found in the body of a human even as much as 30 days after the last time of intoxication. Researchers have been said to be on the brink of discovering a device that can be used to test for marijuana highness during driving.
In the meantime, most states have employed special law enforcing officers known as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). More and more of these experts are being employed in anticipation of the increase in number of drivers under the influence of drugs. This practice has also increased with the increasing legalization of the drug and its use for medicinal purposes. Research experts have also pointed out to a possible surge in the number of pot abusers in the near future hence more and more appropriate to employ these experts. The current DREs have been overwhelmed by the cases of drivers who have abused marijuana. Along with the increasing number of people who are finding jobs to enforce laws against driving while under the influence, there are a lot of criminal attorneys who are finding that learning about the drug specific laws is helping them get more clients. An Arizona criminal defense lawyer said that she has received more business for drug offenses in the past year than she ever had before.
Patrol officers who suspect that drivers are under the influence of something other than alcohol are advised to call DREs, who can help them determine whether the persons are under the influence of marijuana or not. The identification process is quite similar to a drunk test though it takes a little further. However, this test cannot clearly state whether the central nervous stimulating system drug is cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana but all these are illegal.
The officers ask the drivers to close their eyes and touch their nose in a specified manner. A person under the influence of marijuana will take up to one minute and thirty seconds to make the right judgment as opposed to the normal time of thirty seconds. Meth users may hit as low as fifteen seconds. People under marijuana influence cannot be able to cross their eyes. Other tests are also conducted on blood pressure, notes from interviews, response of the muscles, etc. All this has to be done in a controlled environment, away from wind rain and snow.