Despite the fact that Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, driving under the influence is totally prohibited. Thus, it is illegal to drive while being under the sole influence of Marijuana or a combination of substances like alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
Unlike compulsory submission to determine alcohol levels, Massachusetts DUI Law does not place drivers under compulsion to submit for Marijuana impairment tests. Blood tests for Marijuana are not as reliable as those for alcohol where 0.08 percent is the accepted threshold for any DUI charges. Metabolism of Cannabinoids differs according to individuals and the way that they were taken in. In fact, Marijuana can remain in the blood even weeks after its ingestion!
First-time users usually register a low count of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) yet can be heavily impaired to drive. On the other hand, repeated and heavy users can have lingering and high levels of THC in the blood long after consuming. This may result in an unfair accusation of DUI of Marijuana.
Laws concerning Marijuana DUI differ
While determining the amount of alcohol in the body has its own tools and methods, those of determining Marijuana influence are different.
The State of Massachusetts has come up with special training courses for its police officers to detect and identify the drug-impaired drivers. These primarily rely on the traditional roadside impairment tests that check the balance, recognition and reflexes of the drivers. Officers are taught how to separate drug-impaired drivers from those with “medical and/or mental disorders”.
Once marked out as drug-impaired under influence of Marijuana, the penalties are quite severe and you will need the help of a specialized DUI and criminal defense lawyer to help you out.
The following are the penalties for DUI of Marijuana in Massachusetts that vary according to the conviction. There are additional penalties for those that have a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
First conviction: Fine of $500 that can go up to $1,000, the house arrest of up to 30 months and suspension of license up to 1 year. The judge may give an alternate judgment of sending the offender to participate in drug and alcohol deaddiction and education program and suspend a license for 45 to 90 days.
Second conviction: A fine between $600 to $10,000, mandatory 30 days of jail that can extend up to 30 months in prison and license suspension for 2 years. The defendant is ordered an alternate of participating in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program, a probation and up to two years of suspension of license.
Third conviction: A fine of $1,000 up to $15,000, mandatory and minimum 150 days of jail and up to 5 years in prison, suspension of license up to 8 years.
Fourth conviction: Fine between $1,500 and $25,000, mandatory 1 year in prison that can go up to 5 years and a lifetime suspension of license.
Only seasoned attorneys can advise you accurately in case you are faced with any one of these charges!!!