October 13, 2012

Proposed DUI Bill Threatens to Crack Down on Marijuana Users

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A new DUI bill being, introduced by Assembly woman Norma Torres, D-Chino, could bring harsh consequences to marijuana users in California. The bill would criminalize driving with any amount of marijuana in one’s blood or urine.

The controversy around this bill centers around the fact that marijuana compounds can remain detectable in one’s body for up to 30 days from the last use of the substance. This is unlike alcohol, which leaves one’s system at a relatively quick rate.

Supporters of the bill claim it will deter those from driving under the influence of any drug or alcohol.

The use of medicinal marijuana is legal in California. Opponents of the bill state that the bill is discriminatory against marijuana users. A person could theoretically be charged with driving under the influence for the use of marijuana 30 days prior to being stopped for driving under the influence.

Opponents of the bill also claim it would unfairly lower the burden of proof needed to obtain a DUI conviction. The bill would place more emphasis on the blood and urine test results and less emphasis on the demonstrable impairment of the driver.

One thing is for certain; if this bill passes a dramatic increase in DUI arrests in California should be expected.

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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