One of the oldest and most respected driving associations in America recently published a study with profound implications for the state of marijuana DWI laws. According to that study, there is no scientific basis for the limits state set for THC levels.
THC is the active element of marijuana. It is the substance that causes both the desired effect in marijuana use and impairment. The problem with trying to regulate it, however, is that THC affects people differently, and levels vary based on a number of factors.
One example of this proposition is for those who regularly use THC. According to the published reports, a regular user of marijuana will have rather constant levels of THC, but not be impaired in driving. So, when the law punishes someone for driving impaired, but the driver is not actually impaired, critics consider this contrary to our justice system.
This is a particular problem for those states that have legalized marijuana use. There are currently more than twenty states that have some law on their books making marijuana use legal. Most of those states legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but a few of them also permit marijuana for recreational use. All of those states have a problem with their marijuana and driving laws.
In some states it is a plain rule of zero tolerance, meaning that a driver is not allowed to operate a vehicle with any traceable amount of THC in the blood. Other states, like Colorado, picked a THC level that impairs drivers. In Colorado, a driver is considered impaired under the law with a THC level of 5 nanograms. The problem is that, unlike alcohol, this level of THC is not a benchmark for whether a person is actually impaired. Some people could be impaired at this level, and others not at all.
Texas, Marijuana, and DWI
In Texas this is not a real problem because it is illegal to consume marijuana recreationally, and only a recent law allows for cannabis oil for certain maladies. Under Texas law, it is illegal to operate a vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of marijuana or other illegal drugs.
In Texas there is an additional consideration when it comes to marijuana use and driving. Because it is not only illegal to use drugs and drive, it is illegal to use illegal drugs period. This means that most DWI charges for driving while intoxicated with drugs will bring with them charges of drug possession or distribution. This can severely complicate the already complex and serious charge of DWI. With additional charges come additional penalties and considerations that must be handled by the right team of legal professionals.
Defending Your Rights
If you are charged with DWI because of drug or alcohol use, contact us. Our team of professional defenders will help you understand what your rights, options, and chances are. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm, we will aggressively defend you from investigation to trial if needs be. Do not trust your case and future to just anybody.