The Trouble With Pennsylvania Cannabis DUI Laws
It isn’t a case of last night’s edibles messing with your mind; Pennsylvania’s cannabis laws are confusing. Pennsylvania has a robust medical cannabis program that has operated continuously since 2016, and twelve cities, including Pittsburgh, have decriminalized possession of small quantities of cannabis for personal use, as has all of Delaware County. Therefore, millions of Pennsylvania residents can legally possess cannabis for personal use. Things are much more complicated when it comes to driving after taking cannabis. The provisions of Pennsylvania’s DUI laws that relate to cannabis seem to belong to an earlier time, when no amount of cannabis was legal. Some Pennsylvania lawmakers are attempting to amend the cannabis DUI laws so that people whose driving behavior shows no signs of impairment will not be charged with DUI even if they have low, but detectable, levels of cannabis in their blood. If you are facing DUI charges for driving the day after you legally smoked weed, contact a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer.
When It Comes to Driving, How Much Weed Is Too Much?
Pennsylvania DUI laws are clear about how much alcohol is too much; if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher and you are driving, you are guilty of DUI. If your BAC is detectable but less than 0.08 percent and you do not make any driving mistakes serious enough to warrant a traffic stop, it is legal to drive.
When it comes to cannabis, however, you can be charged with DUI if you have any detectable amount of cannabis in your blood at the time of a traffic stop. In other words, there is no clear cutoff point. This presents problems because the forensic tests used to detect cannabis cannot tell how recently the driver consumed it. There is no cannabis breathalyzer that shows how much THC is currently in a person’s blood, although such a test is in the works.
In the News
Pennsylvania State Senator Camera Bartolotta is among the Pennsylvania lawmakers who endeavor to close a loophole in Pennsylvania’s cannabis laws. Specifically, medical cannabis users can get charged with DUI if they test positive for cannabis even if they have their cannabis card with them and even if they pass a field sobriety test. If it were any other prescription drug, the rules would be different. If you get stopped at a DUI checkpoint and you pass a sobriety test but test positive for Xanax, you can simply show the officer the Xanax prescription bottle with your name on it, and everyone will be satisfied that you are on the right side of the law. If you are accused of cannabis DUI, even though you were not impaired and you possessed the cannabis legally, a DUI defense lawyer can help you.
Contact Gary E. Gerson About Cannabis DUI Cases
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for cannabis DUI if you were neither high nor illegally in possession of cannabis at the time of the traffic stop. Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.