As more states across the country make legislation to legalize the use of recreational and medical marijuana, you may find yourself wondering if it is safe for you to drive while high. It is never safe for you to operate a vehicle impaired. Marijuana can dull your senses and make it hard for you to drive safely. It increases the chances of you losing control of your car, causing a collision and injuring others.
The presence of the substance in your system lasts far longer than the effects of impairment. Chemical testing is necessary to determine the amount of the substance in your blood. Even though officers do not have equipment to perform chemical tests for marijuana, they can use other clues as evidence, such as the smell of marijuana, your speech patterns or physical behaviors to charge you with a DUI.
Marijuana use is not legal
In Tennessee, marijuana remains an illegal substance. If you get caught driving while impaired, you could end up with a DUI charge. Take some time to learn the consequences a marijuana DUI charge carries.
Consequences of driving while high
The penalties are dependent on the amount of substance you have in your possession and your level of impairment. Having small amounts of marijuana usually results in a short jail sentence, fines and the revocation of driving privileges. Larger amounts lead to a longer incarceration sentence, higher fines and additional penalties. Many of the penalties for a marijuana DUI charge are similar to an alcohol DUI offense.
If someone becomes injured or you damage property, you could face additional criminal charges that could land you a significant amount of time in prison. Keep in mind that you do not need to be actively driving your vehicle for an arrest and a charge of a DUI. Once you are in the driver's seat and the keys are in the ignition, an officer may assume that you intend to drive while impaired and may subject you to the same testing and booking procedures as an alcohol DUI arrest.