Understanding Marijuana DUI in Las Vegas, Nevada

DUI Charges Involving Drugs

Understanding Marijuana DUI in Las Vegas, Nevada

DUI (driving under the influence) does not only involve alcohol. Although a far less common occurrence, a driver may face DUI charges involving drugs like marijuana, cocaine or pills. In this article we are covering only marijuana DUI. Many legal rules governing marijuana DUI are also applicable to DUI's involving other drugs. Marijuana DUI and Nevada State Law.

Under Nevada DUI law, it is unlawful for a driver to operate a motor vehicle while he or she is impaired due to a controlled substance or drugs.

Nevada State Law and Marijuana DUI

Nevada Revised Statute Section 484C.110 states that it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on any premises to which the public has access.

The Nevada Statute at Section 484C.110(3) further provides that if a person is driving under the influence of a marijuana is per se intoxicated with at least:

Substance Blood
Marijuana 2 nanograms per milliliter
Marijuana metabolite 5 nanograms per milliliter

Per se intoxicated means that as a matter of law the individual is intoxicated.

Marijuana Metabolite

Marijuana metabolites is the leftover THC in your blood after your body has dispensed of the marijuana. Please note that metabolite may stay in a person’s system up to 30 days after they ingested marijuana. A person can receive a marijuana DUI long after their body is no longer feeling the effects of the marijuana.

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Medical Marijuana License and Marijuana DUI

Having a Medical Marijuana License does not allow an individual to drive while under the influence of marijuana.

A Medical Marijuana License is similar to a prescription for marijuana or other drugs but does not protect you from a DUI arrest.

Even though lawfully prescribed, many prescriptions drugs are considered to be controlled substances. In the state of Nevada you may be convicted for a DUI for driving while under the influence of such controlled substances even though they were legally prescribed to you by a doctor.

Drug Recognition Experts

The police have specially trained officers called Drug Recognition Experts or Drug Recognition Evaluators commonly referred to as DRE officers who may be involved in the arrest. These officers are trained to recognize the signs of drug use and impairment.

There are many factors that must be considered by the DRE officer before establishing probable cause for arrest. Here are a few of them:

  • How you walk and your focus
  • Eye examination ( blood shot or watery eyes)
  • Memory and ability to concentrate
  • Discoloration of mouth and tongue
  • Smell of pot in vehicle or person

Only the best trained officers get it right.

Drugged Driving is a Serious Crime

If you are arrested for DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) in Las Vegas, Nevada you can face serious criminal charges.

Exercise your legal right to remain silent and seek a good criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.

Penalties for a typical DUID

Classification / Charge Penalties
1st Offense / Misdemeanor Imprisonment 2 days - 6 months or 48 - 96 hours community services plus fine $400 - $1,000
2nd Offense (within 7 years) / Misdemeanor Imprisonment 10 days - 6 months, fine $750 - $1,000 plus required to attend a program of treatment for drugs abuse.
3rd Offense (within 7 years) / Class B Felony Imprisonment 1 - 6 years, fine $2,000 - $5,000 plus required to attend a program of treatment for drugs abuse.

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Marijuana DUI Defenses

The fact that the driver has been prescribed to use marijuana by the doctor is not a defense for this type of DUI, however there are other defenses that could be used to defend your DUID case.

Defenses that may be used:

Probable cause. Evidence will be suppressed if the officer did not have legal cause to (a) stop, (b) detain and (c) arrest. Sobriety roadblocks present particularly complex issues.

Miranda Rights. Incriminating statements may be suppressed if warnings were not given at the appropriate time.

Driving. In Nevada, intoxication is not enough. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant was driving. This may be difficult if, as in the case of some accidents, there are no witnesses to his being the driver of the vehicle.

Heshmati & Associates: Las Vegas Drug Defense Attorneys

Defending people arrested with DUID and more specifically with marijuana DUI is a big part of Heshmati & Associates criminal defense attorneys' legal practice.

The firm represents clients in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Laughlin, Mesquite, and throughout Nevada.

The office of Heshmati & Associates provides free consultations for marijuana DUI and other drugged driving charges.

To learn what your legal options are call the DUI drug defense attorneys at Heshmati & Associates today at 702-432-1000.

Written by

Additional Resources: Unlawful Controlled Drug Possession

NORML - DUID Laws - Marijuana DUI. DUID Legislation: What It Means, Who's Behind It, and Strategies to Prevent It. NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults.

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