Marijuana DUI Legal Strategies Designed to Win

Rancho Cucamonga Marijuana DUI Lawyer

California Marijuana DUI Laws

With the decriminalization of marijuana consumption, Californians now have the ability to partake in this substance freely. However, it is still an intoxicant, and driving while under its influence is still illegal. If you are convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana, you could still face DUI charges similar to that of alcohol, meaning you could be facing serious penalties that can impact you for many years to come. Don’t face your prosecution and DMV hearing without the assistance of a Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyer.

At Newman & Allen, we are dedicated to helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your case. Since opening in 1996, we have helped a wide range of criminal cases, including hundreds of DUIs of all types. We are familiar with the ever-changing landscape of DUI law, particularly with the recent changes involving the decriminalization of marijuana. Our attorneys are aggressive and fearless in their defense strategies, making us a powerful ally to have in your corner for your trial and hearing. We review all of the evidence in your case to help strengthen your case as much as possible and give you the best chance at an ideal conclusion


While statistics show that alcohol-related DUIs are much more common than marijuana-related DUIs, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that the overall number of drivers with marijuana in their system has increased by 50% from 2007 to 2014; which means high drivers are on the roads now more than ever before. Therefore, determining the differences between alcohol and marijuana-related DUIs is crucial to understanding a California citizen’s rights.

As drunkenness impacts driving capabilities, so does being high. However, a marijuana-related high impacts someone’s driving in vastly different ways when compared to alcohol intoxication.

Common side effects of driving under an alcohol-related influence are:

  • Speeding
  • Swerving
  • Careless lane changes
  • Forgetting to put headlights
  • Forgetting to put on a turn signal

Common side effects of driving under a marijuana-related influence are:

  • Slower reaction time
  • Worsened tracking ability (Ability to stay within lane)
  • Inability to judge speed and risk

As you can see, the side effects of alcohol-influenced driving are much more concrete than the side effects of marijuana-influenced driving. Therefore, police officers are more likely to pull over and book someone for drinking too much alcohol when compared to someone smoking too much weed.

Marijuana DUI Penalties in California

Under Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC, it is illegal to drive a car while under the influence of any drug, including marijuana. The penalties for this crime are exactly the same as they would be for an equivalent alcohol charge, which means a guilty conviction could change your life dramatically.

The punishments in California are:

  • First DUI: Up to 6 months jail; minimum $390 fine; 3 or 9 months DUI school; 6-10 months suspended license
  • Second DUI: Up to 1-year jail; minimum $390 fine; 18 or 30 months DUI school; 2 years suspended license
  • Third DUI: Up to 1-year jail; minimum $390 fine; 30 months DUI school; 3 years revoked license
  • Felony DUI: 16 months, 2, or 3-years state prison; minimum $390 fine; 18 or 30 months DUI school; 4 years revoked license

Any subsequent DUI convictions within 10 years of the original offense or any aggravated DUI convictions could result in facing even more stringent penalties, such as longer jail sentences, larger fines, and even the installation of an ignition interlock device. Marijuana DUI charges can be more complex to successfully convict you of, so it’s imperative that you seek counsel from an attorney for assistance with your case in order to avoid these potentially life-changing consequences.

Being Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

While movement impairment tests (walk and turn, balance) are tests of judgment and can be inconclusive, the breathalyzer and blood tests can be used conclusively. Lawmakers have identified that anyone over 0.08% BAC is legally impaired and should be arrested for driving while under the influence.

Common tests for alcohol-related DUIs are:

  • Blood Test
  • Breathalyzer
  • Eye Examination
  • “Walk and Turn”
  • Balance Test

However, at this point, marijuana impairment tests have yet to be created. Therefore, someone’s level of impairment due to the use of weed is hard to identify. While there are devices that can be used to gauge the amount of THC in someone’s system, California lawmakers have yet to determine driver impairment in relation to THC amounts in someone’s system.

As a result, THC levels are not a concrete means to identify a marijuana-related DUI.

If you have been thrust into the criminal justice system, make the call to Newman & Allen! Contact us today to get high-quality representation assistance.

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