A Team To Defend You From Marijuana DUI
Although Amendment A of 2021 brought South Dakota closer to legalizing cannabis than ever before, the substance remains prohibited in our state. While marijuana possession arrests have diminished substantially, law enforcement has ramped up DUI interdiction and patrols with a more intense focus on marijuana or drug-related DUI offenses. As a result, drivers found to have marijuana in their bodies stand to face charges of driving under the influence (DUI).
Currently there is no baseline or benchmark to determine whether a driver is impaired or under the influence of marijuana. South Dakota may soon adopt “per se” laws that adopt a certain amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your body as being DUI. In 2021 a bill was introduced to the South Dakota Legislature attempting to establish the level of Delta-9 THC at a mere 2 ng/ml in order to reach a “per se” (automatic) DUI threshold. This bill was killed, but other states have adopted such laws and with medical marijuana now legal, the law enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving lobbies will be looking to submit additional bills in the future. However, there is no scientific benchmark to establish impairment. THC may last in the body for weeks long yet any effects of impairment may have disappeared shortly after consumption.
Law enforcement utilizes “drug recognition” training it has created in its academies to present DUI cases. Many juries remain skeptical of scientifically unproven testimony advocating findings of guilt in THC-related DUI cases. In the meantime, the discussion of marijuana and the law is still grounded and decided depending on people’s cultural alignments. The “under 40”demographic mostly support adult-use marijuana legalization. Conversely, a majority of voters in the Boomer generation have resisted acceptance of legalization.
If accused of driving under the influence of marijuana, you need defense from a team of professionals who are versed in all aspects of cannabis-related laws. Our firm serves clients throughout Western South Dakota who stand accused of drugged driving. Since 1996, we have secured favorable outcomes in a variety of complex drug-related criminal law cases.
The consequences of a marijuana DUI conviction are identical to alcohol-related DUIs.
Marijuana Possession Crimes
While a majority of the public’s attitude toward marijuana use may be changing, most smaller counties within South Dakota are still charging and attempting to punish offenders. Decriminalization efforts may soon prevail as the law constantly changes and shifts.
If you are a driver of a motor vehicle and are convicted of marijuana possession within the vehicle, you will face a 90-day driver’s license revocation. This revocation will transfer to all states, in losing your driving privileges is very expensive, inconvenient and even downright painful. Many judges neglected to advise defendants of this consequence which is collateral to (or separate from) the sentence a judge may impose. The revocation occurs at the administrative level from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. Always ask your attorney what can be done to avoid this consequence.
Additionally, you could face unexpected long-term consequences outside of the criminal justice system from convictions, such as being turned down by landlords, advanced educational institutions, federal student grants and loans and firings from potential employers.
What About Medical Marijuana?
As of 2021, it is legal to possess up to three ounces of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions as long as one has a State-approved registry card. However, South Dakota has a per se law that forbids drivers from consuming marijuana when operating a motor vehicle. Even if you have the right to use medical marijuana, you could face a criminal charge for driving with marijuana in your body.
Get Our Team’s Defense – Reach Out For A Consultation
The laws regarding cannabis are changing rapidly, but that does not change the severity of a marijuana DUI. Our lawyers can help you protect your rights and your driving privileges from the justice system. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.