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San Diego Police use the Drager Drug Test 5000 to Assist in Making DUI Marijuana Arrests

Last month the first arrests were reported in San Diego for driving under the influence of marijuana using the new Drager Drug Test 5000. The device acts much like a Breathalyzer except it requires police to swab the inside of a driver's mouth and test the results onsite for active THC. Once a positive result is returned, the police can obtain a warrant for a blood drawing to determine the actual blood level of THC. While a blood alcohol test is generally accurate, a screening for THC may be inconclusive. There is no level of THC that is a current standard for a DUI marijuana charge in California. The fact that THC can be detected in the blood days and even weeks after marijuana use, creates blurred parameters for law enforcement.

Despite the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in California, it is still a crime to drive while under the influence. However law enforcement is struggling to catch up when it comes to the investigation and prosecution of individuals charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Unlike DUIs involving alcohol, marijuana is not nearly as straightforward. Yet since the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, police have stepped up their pursuit of marijuana-impaired drivers statewide.

At present, law enforcement has two methods to make a determination of impaired driving - the field sobriety test and the blood/urine test. The first relies on observation and the other on actual blood levels. It is questionable whether an officer's observation as the only evidence will hold up in court. In the case of THC blood levels, the dubiety comes into play as to what is considered an impairment level.

If You Were Injured by a Marijuana Impaired Driver

If you are involved in an accident with an impaired driver who was clearly negligent, the fact that the driver tested positive for THC is not sufficient to prove your case. Proving the drug impaired the driver enough to cause the accident could be challenging. On the positive side, proving negligence does not require driving under the influence. Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, impairment from THC is mostly speculative.

Neither the swabbing of the mouth nor the blood or urine test can reveal the following:

· When the marijuana was used

· How much marijuana was used

· How much marijuana leads to impaired driving.

In one San Diego traffic stop, a woman volunteered to be tested for THC claiming she did not smoke marijuana but had been in the presence of those who did. The Drager 5000 returned a positive test. The woman was released without being charged because she showed no outward sign of impairment.

Anyone who is injured in a traffic accident by a drunk driver or a driver impaired by recreational or prescription drugs, needs the help of an experienced DUI accident attorney. The precedents in these cases are complex and ever changing. Only an attorney who has litigated these cases on a regular basis is qualified to represent you. If you were in an accident and the driver was arrested for driving under the influence, you may be in a strong position while seeking compensation.

Vititoe Law Group has successfully represented countless victims of accidents involving at fault, impaired drivers. If you or someone you love was injured or you lost someone at the hands of an impaired driver, contact Vititoe Law Group today for a free evaluation of your case. We do not charge a fee until you win. Call 818-851-1886

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