Category Archives: New Drug Laws

States Are Struggling In Defining Marijuana DUIs

As more states legalize personal use of marijuana, they are now trying to define just how much marijuana in a person’s blood would be considered as an impaired driver.  States such as Colorado and Washington are trying to agree on an amount of Delta 9 THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) that would cause someone to be impaired to drive, and would therefore constitute a “per se” DUI.  The amount that they came up with is five or more nanograms of Delta 9 THC per milliliter, yet there are disagreements on whether even that amount is too low or too high.  “Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) acknowledges that detecting impairment caused by use of marijuana can be trickier than it is for alcohol.”  (NY Times, June 9, 2013)Police Officer - Eye Coordination

“Earlier this year, in a widely viewed broadcast, a Seattle TV station, KIRO, had three volunteers smoke marijuana before driving.  They started out well enough, and each were capable of driving safely even after they far exceeded the state’s 5 nanogram limit.”  (NY Times, June 9, 2013)

In states that have not legalized recreational use, such as Georgia, the legal definition of someone under the influence of marijuana is someone who is rendered “incapable of driving safely.”  There is currently no “per se” marijuana in Georgia.  There is a DUI “per se” level which is .08 grams but in Georgia the State must prove that you are “rendered incapable of driving safely due to marijuana.”  The State generally must show less safe driving, failure to perform balance tests, or physical manifestations of being “stoned.”  Most officers lack the training to accurately articulate someone who may be impaired due to marijuana; therefore, it is important that you do NOT voluntarily give the State any evidence which would incriminate you.

The Simple Rules apply if you are stopped in Georgia and are suspected of being under the influence of marijuana:
  • Don’t admit to smoking.
  • Don’t do any field tests.
  • Don’t agree to a blood or urine test.
  • Make the State prove that you are under the influence to the extent you were “rendered incapable of driving safely.”


For the latest on DUI and traffic laws news, visit the MRGADUI blog.  To inquire about legal representation for traffic offenses, contact Mickey Roberts today.  Also be sure to connect with Mickey on Facebook,Twitter and Google+.

Researchers Open Up Possibility of Roadside Breath Testing for Drugs

In the state of Georgia, anyone suspected of DUI is subject to a number of field sobriety tests to determine whether a driver is unfit to operate a vehicle.  While most people may associate a DUI with alcohol consumption, it also includes the use of drugs.  With breath tests as a frequently used roadside test to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content detected in the breath, there has not been a similar device to determine the presence of drugs, until now.Police Officer - Eye Coordination

A group of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden conducted a study proving illegal substances such as cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines can be detected in the breath, opening up the possibility of a roadside drug breathalyzer test.  47 participants who had used drugs in the previous 24 hours submitted blood, breath, plasma and urine samples.  The breath samples were collected using a small portable breath sampling device that consisted of a mouth piece and a micro-particle filter.  Tiny particles that carry non-volatile substances (a substance that can’t be changed from a solid or liquid into a vapor) and have been inhaled or consumed contaminates the airway lining fluid and are subsequently passed through open airways when exhaled, trapping the micro-particles in a filter that can be sealed and stored for testing.

Similar to field sobriety tests conducted in DUI cases, drug tests may be administered roadside using the same breath test method.  With the possible drug breathalyzer test, police will be able to detect drugs and convict drivers of a DUI if drugs are present in their results.  As a Gwinnett traffic attorney with over 18 years of experience representing clients for DUI offenses, Mickey Roberts often reminds his clients to follow the 4 simple rules to understand their rights and to avoid incriminating themselves.

To learn more about the latest news on DUI and traffic laws, visit the MRGADUI blog.  To inquire about legal representation for traffic offenses, contact Mickey G. Roberts today.  Also be sure to connect with Mickey on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
New Drug Laws