Chemical testing in a DUID case

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Chemical testing in a DUID case

Although driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana cases are investigated in very similar ways in California, there are a few differences. One of the main disparities lies within the types of chemical tests that are available to each type of suspect. In this state, an alleged “drunk driver” has the choice of taking a blood or breath test, while an individual accused of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) has the choice of a blood or urine test. Because prosecutors heavily rely on the results of the chemical test, it is critical that an individual accused of driving under the influence of marijuana hires an attorney who understands the science behind blood and urine tests and who can articulate their weaknesses in a drug case to the judge and jury.

A driving under the influence of marijuana investigation, unlike an alcohol-related DUI, does not provide the investigating officer with the opportunity to do an on-site reading of the driver’s marijuana measurement. In a typical D.U.I. of alcohol investigation, the officer generally has a hand-held instrument, known as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device that immediately displays the driver’s blood alcohol content, letting the officer know that the driver is either above or below California’s legal limit. There is no such test for an individual suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug, which means that a suspected driver is arrested for this offense before he or she even submits to a blood or urine test.

Implied consent laws regulate which tests are available under certain circumstances and state that an individual suspected of D.U.I.D. must choose either a blood or urine test. All drivers in this state “consented” to this upon obtaining their driver’s license and the refusal to provide a chemical test will result in additional penalties.

Positive test results established through either of these tests does not mean that an individual is necessarily guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana – a key point that a skilled DUI criminal defense lawyer knows and understands. This is because marijuana can be detected in one’s system long after any impairment has passed. It should be noted that this is one area of the law where California drivers are treated more leniently than drivers in several other states that have “zero tolerance” laws. An individual whose blood or urine test comes back positive for any marijuana in a zero tolerance state will automatically be declared “under the influence”. A knowledgeable attorney in California, however, understands that urine tests detect only certain metabolites of marijuana, which can linger in one’s body for days or even weeks after use. He or she also knows that blood tests are a better indicator, as they actually measure THC (the main active ingredient of marijuana), however, even a blood test can detect low levels for a day or more after use. As a result, an experienced criminal attorney will ensure that the judge and jury understand that an individual who theoretically used marijuana on a Monday could be arrested later in the week, long after the marijuana’s effects had worn off. It must be noted that the only issue in a D.U.I. case is whether the driver was under the influence at the time of driving.

Defenses are available to an individual who tests positive for marijuana use following an arrest for DUID, provided he or she hires a savvy attorney who knows the most convincing ways to employ them. The unsurpassed lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm excel in California DUID defense. They keep up-to-date with the latest laws, evidentiary rulings and science that are involved with these types of cases and have mastered the defenses that are available to an individual who has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Their outstanding results speak for themselves. For the most trusted legal advice and excellent representation, contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.