When it comes to DUIs, the California Vehicle Code doesn’t use terms like ‘driving drunk” or “driving high.” Instead, the law makes it illegal for any person to “drive under the influence” of a substance whether that substance is alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or a combination of these substances
Probably the major difference between so called, “Alcohol DUIs” and “Marijuana DUIs” is that in California law, there is not currently a “Per Se” statute for marijuana cases.
California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) outlines California’s “ Per Se” 08 blood alcohol level for DUIs. A “Per Se” statute means that the person can be prosecuted for having a .08 blood alcohol at the time of their driving, whether or not they were in fact impaired by the alcohol. California does not currently have such a statute for marijuana.
In states with so-called “per se” “Marijuana DUI” laws, a specified amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), (The active ingredient in cannabis) in the driver’s system at the time of the offense will conclusively establish impairment. For example in Colorado and Washington, there is a “per se” finding of impairment for drivers found with 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood in their system.Back to DUI Practice Area