Are we expecting changes in DUI laws in California?

April 16, 2013

Many DUI defense attorneys are expecting that the DUI law in California will change to be harsher on the drivers.  The most likely changes, if they are to come, would be some combination of the following:

(1) making DUI crimes priorable for longer then the current 10 years deadline.

(2) making some level of THC in blood to be a “per se” DUI – such as the case with alcohol where a .08% BAC is a DUI regardless of the level of intoxication.

(3) reducing the level of alcohol at which a driver is in a violation of DUI laws lower then the current 0.08 percent.  After all, many experts believe that most people’s attention and performance behind a wheel of a car is  affected at a level of .05% blood alcohol concentration or higher.

The trend in California and in the nation is to make the DUI laws tougher.  Last change came on July 26, 1990, when the level of permissible alcohol in blood was reduced from 0.10% of higher to the current 0.08% of higher.   I think we are due for another reduction in level or some law which will punish a relatively common driving under influence of marijuana or driving under influence of meth.

Colorado passed a law making a person guilty of a DUI when he has only 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.  This law has very little basis in science because there is direct correlation between blood THC and impairment.  Also, because TCH stays in blood for weeks, having THC does not show impairment at all (when compared to alcohol which leaves body at a steady rate of about .1-.2 % BAC per hour).  Yet many scientist agree that odds of being in a crash consuming Marijuana are a lot less than alcohol.  Interestingly the reason is probably has to do with Marijuana making people mellow and alcohol making them aggressive.  NHTSA seems to agree with this point of view.

Canada has a device Drager DrugTest 5000 that tests for THC.   However, it is very inaccurate and sometime will say that you consume marijuana when you did not and also will say that you did not consume marijuana when you did.

Many jurisdictions currently prosecute marijuana DUI and DUI with a blood alcohol level of below .08%.  If you are arrested in one of those jurisdiction, please call our experienced DUI attorney right away – we will defend you for an affordable fee and convince the prosecutor to dismiss you DUI.

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