Each year in Georgia, a number of motorists are charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Earlier this month, a woman was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana due to a motor vehicle crash that occurred on Interstate 75 in Cobb County.
The accident occurred when the motor vehicle driver struck a temporary barrier wall. While the driver was ejected from the vehicle, a local fire department was tasked with freeing a passenger in the vehicle. The driver and passenger were eventually taken to a nearby medical facility with non-life threatening injuries.
In addition to driving under the influence of marijuana, the woman was also charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, failure to maintain her lane, not using due care, and failing to use a seat belt.
This event highlights a common example of how a marijuana charge is made. Motor vehicle drivers who face these types of charges frequently desire to retain the services of a skilled accident attorney who knows how to create a legal defense strategy in response to such a charge.
Key Details of Georgia Law
Although several states have begun to permit the legal use of marijuana, the state of Georgia has not passed this type of law. There is not a particular amount of marijuana with which a motor vehicle driver must be found in order to be charged with DUI marijuana. DUI charges involving marijuana occur when a motor vehicle driver makes conditions “less safe” by driving under the influence of marijuana. Tests for marijuana are largely ineffective.
A positive blood test for marijuana shows that the driver was impaired while operating a vehicle. Field sobriety tests, which are largely designed for ordinary driving under the influence of alcohol cases, are not effective at showing any relationship between a motor vehicle driver’s impairment and marijuana.
Marijuana actually only causes impairment for a short period of time, but a motor vehicle driver who is pulled over by a law enforcement officer might still smell marijuana, which will cause a law enforcement officer to believe that the accused is under the influence of marijuana.
Penalties for DUI Marijuana
Motor vehicle drivers in Georgia who are charged with driving under the influence of marijuana face several severe penalties. For a first time offense of driving under the influence of marijuana, individuals face a fine of $300 – $1,000, incarceration between 10 days to one year, a mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service, probation for 12 months, and mandatory participation in a 20-hour risk reduction program.These penalties are even more severe for motor vehicle drivers who are charged with repeat offenses.
Obtain the Services of a Skilled Georgia Marijuana Lawyer
If you or a loved one is arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, it is a wise idea to contact a seasoned Atlanta attorney at Yeargan & Kert LLC who is well versed in Georgia law and knows how to make sure that an individual’s case concludes successfully. Time is important in these issues, which is why individuals should not hesitate to contact our firm today.