Whats Causing the Increase in Marijuana DUI Arrests

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Whats Causing the Increase in Marijuana DUI Arrests

Because of the legalization of marijuana for recreational as well as medical purposes, marijuana usage and overall awareness is at an all-time high. The publicity of more and more people using marijuana has prompted a response from law enforcement who are concerned that a rise in motor vehicle accidents and the corresponding fatalities may be about to follow.

While using marijuana may be legal, California marijuana DUI is a serious crime that is equal to DUI alcohol and has serious, life-altering ramifications. The penalties for first time California DUI marijuana are 3 to 5 years of informal probation, 96 hours to 6 months in jail, a $390 to $1000 fine, and a 6-month driver’s license suspension. California police have taken the firm step to counter the potential for marijuana-related motor vehicle fatalities by training police officers in every aspect of marijuana detection.

Police Drug Recognition Training

Responding to more and more Californians using marijuana and potentially driving under its influences, police have been educated to be more aggressive in investigating potential instances of DUI marijuana. Police throughout the state are being trained to become certified as drug recognition experts.

Tests for Marijuana

Shining a flashlight into the eyes of a driver that has been pulled over for suspicion of DUI and looking to see the pupil response is the primary test for DUI marijuana. Running a finger back in forth and watching for the person’s eye responsiveness in tracking is another. When you are pulled over a police officer will request you roll down your window so that he can smell alcohol or marijuana and will also look for marijuana smoking paraphernalia.

Police Training is Responsible For The Increase in DUI Marijuana Arrests
No one can put their finger on the exact cause of the increase in California DUI arrests as blood testing for marijuana alone is up over 40% this year according to California county crime lab technicians. California police chiefs tend to concede that although marijuana use is up, enhanced drug enforcement training of its officers is more responsible for the increase in DUI marijuana arrests. It is clear that people are being tested more frequently for marijuana, however, there is no way to know if increased usage due to legalization or increase testing due to enhanced police training is the root cause of the problem.

Are the police using marijuana legalization simply as a rationale to look more closely for marijuana usage? Were DUI marijuana arrests previous to legalization slipping through the cracks and being charged as simple DUI alcohol before the light of public attention was cast on marijuana? Until the statistics roll in over the coming years that will be an impossible question to answer.