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Sanilac County Marijuana DUI Lawyer

In Sanilac County, the criminal offense of driving under the influence does not just encompass alcoholic intoxication. It can also refer to impaired driving caused by marijuana, or a mixture of marijuana and alcohol. It is important to realize that a marijuana DUI is punishable by the same harsh penalties as an alcohol-related DUI and could affect your life for many years to come in the same ways.

That is why it may be essential to speak with a Sanilac County marijuana DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are arrested on such charges. A well-practiced DUI drug attorney can help you fight your charges, reduce your penalties (or have them dropped entirely), and guide you through the complicated legal process.

Marijuana Laws Applicable to Sanilac County

While the use of medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, driving while under the influence of marijuana—even if it is for medical purposes—is not. Lawful marijuana users and cardholders may still be arrested and charged with a marijuana DUI if their ability to drive has been impaired in any noticeable way.

Drivers who do not possess a legal marijuana card can be arrested for a marijuana DUI with any amount of the drug in their systems. It should be noted that the applicability of this section of the law is open to debate and subject to challenge or to be changed altogether. Until this happens,  even if it was not specifically marijuana that impaired your driving, you might still be charged with a marijuana DUI provided you have some amount of THC in your blood.

How is a Marijuana DUI Charged?

A police officer could arrest a person for driving under the influence of marijuana if they are considered to be visibly impaired due to the drugs in their system. Since police officers cannot test for the level of marijuana in a person’s system the way they may be able to with alcohol, they must rely on other subjective and potentially unreliable factors. This could include:

  • Marijuana odors
  • The driver’s appearance, in particular bloodshot or glassy eyes
  • Field sobriety tests, like the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test
  • Suspicious driver behavior such as confusion, poor coordination, and delayed reaction times
  • Presence of drug paraphernalia

A marijuana DUI attorney in Sanilac County could work to examine the exact reason you were arrested on suspicion of marijuana intoxication behind the wheel. If applicable, they could challenge a police officer’s assertions and present evidence that contradicts their assessment of the situation.

Marijuana DUI Penalties

In the State of Michigan, driving under the influence is categorized as either operating while intoxicated (OWI) or operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) by drugs or alcohol. While both of these charges are serious, they have a few key differences. Initially, an OWI requires more proof and often carries higher penalties since it is a more severe charge. By comparison, an OWVI is a lesser charge that requires less proof. As an experienced attorney may caution, OWVI convictions still come with potentially harsh penalties.

Both OWI and OWVI convictions may come with up to a 93-day jail sentence and up to 360 days of community service. First-time OWIs also carry a fine of up to $500, a 30-day license suspension plus 150 days of restrictions after that, and six points on an individual’s driving record. First-time OWVI charges are punishable by up to $300 in fines, up to 180 days of driver’s license restrictions, and four points on a person’s driving record. Given the harsh nature of penalties for marijuana DUI convictions, defendants may benefit from speaking with a Sanilac County marijuana DUI lawyer immediately.

Contact a Sanilac County Marijuana DUI Lawyer

The sooner you contact a Sanilac County marijuana DUI lawyer, the better. DUI charges are always serious and could impact your finances and freedom and your reputation.

An attorney seasoned in Michigan’s DUI and drug laws could help you make critical decisions, build a solid case, and ensure your rights are being protected from day one. Call today to get started on your case.