At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 886-6333

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Law Offices of Aaron Bortel

In order to arrest someone and help get a conviction, officers will look at where the driver was coming from, where they were going, and when they last slept. The big question that they’ll ask is when was the last time that they smoked, especially if there’s an admission that they did smoke marijuana. But, the longer it was from the time of driving, the better. If you tell an officer that you smoked within the last few minutes, half hour, or hour, they’re going to arrest you for DUI. I’ve seen them arrest people for saying that they smoked six, eight, or 10 hours ago. They’ll still often arrest people if they think that they have enough evidence, even though when the drug test comes back it would show that they’re not impaired.

The other thing that they use to arrest and convict drivers is their testing. They’re looking at the person’s pupils, pulse, and muscle rigidity. They’re looking for different signs to help them determine what drugs someone is under. Another thing that they’ll do is question witnesses. They’ll question passengers who were in the same car with the person, or sometimes, they’ll question another car that may pull up behind them. That’s almost never a good idea because it just gives the cops more people to talk to.

Will My Driver’s License Also Be Suspended For A Marijuana Related DUI?

Typically, we will request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the incident as long as you’re not at or over 0.8% alcohol level, which you should not be if it’s a marijuana DUI. The DMV usually will not suspend your license. Now, if there is evidence in the police report that makes it look like you are a habitual marijuana smoker or someone who has gotten in with this before, they may go after you for being a habitual user, and try to take away your license under a different type of hearing. That’s something we always have to be careful of, and we don’t need to give the DMV any additional evidence. But, assuming there’s just marijuana in your system, the DMV, in most cases, will not suspend your license once we get through the request and hearing. They’ll send us a letter saying that the case is set aside. You get to keep your license, and if the cops have taken your license, one thing that you can do is request a duplicate license.

Now, the court case is different. Unfortunately, if you get convicted of vehicle code section 23152(f), which is drugs, then you’re likely to lose your license for six months, and there is no restriction or interlock because interlocks only work for alcohol. If it’s not a first offense, if it’s a second offense, the penalty is even greater. You’d be looking at a two-year suspension for a second offense, that’s a drug offense, and the first year would be a hard suspension before you could get a restricted license. For a drug dealer, this is something that would be a very punitive result. That’s why sometimes it’s hard to get a DUI attorney and a prosecutor to amend a case when it’s a drug case rather than an alcohol case. But, when there are drugs and alcohol in the system, we’re trying to get them to just go with the alcohol if there is going to be a conviction because that will make the driver eligible for easier restricted driving privileges.

In the beginning, when you’re arrested for a marijuana DUI, we’re going to try to keep you driving for many months while the case is being fought three, four, five, six or more months down the road. There’s a lot at stake with these marijuana DUI laws and driver’s licenses.

For more information on DUI cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 886-6333 today.

Aaron Bortel

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Call Us 24/7: (415) 886-6333
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