A new study released by the nation’s largest auto club claims that THC impairment standards are unscientific and do not prove that the driver was actually impaired. AAA’s president and CEO, Marshall Doney acknowledged the need for a standard to create limits for marijuana impairments as for alcohol, but stressed that “in the case of marijuana, this approach is flawed and not supported by scientific research.”
The problem, as the study by AAA’s safety foundation has shown, is that THC exhibits itself differently in the bloodstream of regular users versus occasional users, resulting in innocent drivers being convicted and guilty drivers being released. Testing for marijuana impairment is complex and the degree to which the driver is impaired depends on the individual and the frequency of marijuana use. While a regular user might have high THC in their system from frequent use, they might not actually be impaired while driving.
Amongst other things, this may unfairly single out those who use the drug for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, some genuinely impaired drivers, who are occasional users, may have high THC levels that have fallen below the legal threshold by the time their blood is tested. Active THC dissipates rapidly and taking a blood sample is a process that often takes two hours or more, between getting a warrant and transport to a police station or hospital.
If you believe you have been unfairly convicted of an OUI involving alleged marijuana impairment, it’s important to contact an attorney who can deal with the complexities of such a charge and ensure you get the best representation possible. OUI offenses can have serious consequences such as probation, incarceration and fines. Contact Murphy & Rudolf LLP for information on how we can help.