Marijuana and OVI in St. Clairsville
A qualified St. Clairsville OVI attorney would inform you that medical marijuana was legalized a few years ago. However, it is crucial to note that recreational marijuana use remains unlawful in Ohio.
Statistics indicate that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. According to the FBI, Ohio made over 17,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2013.
While the term “OVI” is often associated with alcohol, it is important to remember that individuals can also be charged with it for being under the influence of drugs. Marijuana is just one of the substances that can lead to an OVI charge for a driver.
I Smoked a Joint on My Way to Work. Can I Be Charged With OVI?
According to Ohio law, you can be charged with OVI if you are driving while impaired by either alcohol or a controlled substance (such as marijuana). Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. Therefore, if you are caught driving under the influence because you smoked a joint, you can be charged with OVI.
When it comes to testing drivers for alcohol intoxication, breath tests are commonly utilized by the police. However, this method does not work for detecting marijuana. Instead, an officer will request that the driver undergo a blood or urine test.
To be considered “per se” intoxicated, your test results must meet one of the following criteria:
- Urine test – a minimum of 10 nanograms of marijuana per millimeter of urine.
- Blood test – a minimum of 2 nanograms per millimeter (whole blood, blood plasma, or blood serum).
It is crucial to remember that drugs remain in your system even after the effects have worn off. Drugs contain metabolites that remain in your body for a specific period, known as the drug’s “detection time.” The detection time varies among different drugs, and marijuana has a relatively longer detection time. This can present challenges during drug testing for marijuana use.
If you smoke a joint or even just take a few puffs, the marijuana metabolites can persist in your system for up to three days. Regular marijuana use extends the detection time to around five days if used a few times a week. Chronic marijuana users may need to wait an entire month for the metabolites to fully dissipate from their system.
High-quality representation is crucial when facing an OVI charge related to marijuana use. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights.
For drivers, the chemical tests they are asked to undergo can detect marijuana use from past weeks or even months. However, these tests cannot determine the specific timeframe of drug usage, which may lead law enforcement to presume impairment even long after marijuana consumption has ceased.
Refusing to Submit to Chemical Tests
Considering this information, you may wonder if declining to undergo urine or blood tests is the wisest course of action. Contrary to this belief, refusing chemical testing will result in automatic administrative license suspension by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If you later face an OVI conviction, you will likely receive an additional suspension imposed by the court.
When asked to provide a blood or urine sample for testing, it is advisable to comply. It is easier for your St. Clairsville OVI lawyer to challenge the accuracy of the test results than for you to unjustifiably lose your license.
OVI Penalties and Marijuana
The penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana mirror those imposed on drivers charged with OVI due to alcohol presence in the bloodstream. The severity of penalties depends on the level of intoxication, with all levels entailing fines, imprisonment, court-ordered license suspensions, and a period without eligibility for restricted driving privileges.
St. Clairsville Criminal Lawyer Group possesses expertise in defending drivers arrested for marijuana-related OVIs. Contact us today for assistance.
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