Marijuana Legal, DUI NOT

Staff Reports

On January 1, 2018 Marijuana became legal in the state of California. Driving under the influence will be revamped and revised for years to come. If you just think back about how many times it was revised and revamped for alcohol over the years you can imagine how many times the DUI laws will be revisited and revised for Marijuana. Up until now you didn’t get a DUI or even a ticket unless you physically had some in your possession. Marijuana can stay in your system for up to 30 days so they didn’t really have a reliable test to determine if you were high at the time. Well as they say, “be careful what you wish for” because you can bet your last dollar they will be figuring that out now, and again later, and again, and again and so on.  Below is some information provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office that is the beginning of the saga that is coming to a vehicle near you.

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes.  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”  If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.  Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone.  The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.  The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting other DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint and DUI Saturation Patrol in the future in our ongoing commitment to lowering deaths and injuries upon our streets and highways.

The checkpoint was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.

AS A DRIVER, PLAN AHEAD WITH THESE TIPS:

Arrange rides home for your friends, family, co-workers and yourself before the drinking begins

Identify and provide free non-alcoholic drinks or other promotional items to the Designated Driver

Party hosts and servers must limit drinks to your guests or patrons. Don’t serve more than one or two over several hours.

Cut back on the amount of drinks you plan to bring to the party – and provide plenty of food.