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Can the Cops Prove I Was Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?

Most Indianans know that a breathalyzer test or blood sample can prove intoxication and lead to a charge of operating while impaired (OWI). However, many don’t know that law enforcement officials can also prove a motorist is impaired by marijuana and may do so while building a charge of OWI.

How Law Enforcement Officials May Prove a Marijuana OWI

Code § 9-30-5-1 specifies that motorists in Indiana can face a charge of OWI for operating a vehicle “with a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II of IC 35-48-2 or its metabolite in the person’s blood.”

This definition gives a hint about how law enforcement officials may prove (or purport to prove) a marijuana-related DUI, as they may use:

  • Biological testing: A law enforcement official may request that a motorist provide a blood sample, urine sample, or both. They may request this during a traffic stop or after the fact, and the motorist has a right to refuse the request (unless an accident resulting in serious bodily injury occurs).
  • Presenting testimony from a drug recognition expert (DRE): If your case reaches a courtroom, a prosecutor may present testimony from a drug recognition expert. Such an expert may claim that you exhibited signs of impairment by marijuana.
  • Citing physical evidence: If you had marijuana on your person or in your vehicle at the time of an accident or traffic stop, the prosecutor may rely on this fact in trying to prove you were under the influence when contacted by law enforcement officials.

There are potential flaws in each of these approaches. Your attorney may argue that marijuana in your system does not necessarily mean you were impaired when contacted by police officers. Drug recognition experts’ opinions are not gospel, and possession of marijuana does not necessarily mean you were impaired while driving.

Call Razumich & Associates Today for a Capable Defense to a Marijuana OWI Charge

The penalties for OWI can include revocation of your license, probation, jail time, or even prison time (depending on the circumstances). Allow a seasoned Indiana criminal defense lawyer to fight the serious consequences of an OWI conviction.

Call Razumich & Associates today at 317-449-8661 or contact us online to discuss how we will fight to clear your name and prevent a conviction.


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