Rhode Island has legalized marijuana for medicinal use and has decriminalized it in the state. However, drivers need to understand the consequences of driving while under the influence of cannabis or risk a Rhode Island Marijuana DUI. Under the law, you cannot drive when under the influence of a controlled substance. You also cannot possess marijuana while driving a vehicle.
Drivers in the state are subject to a blood, breath or urine test. To determine whether to order a test for a Rhode Island Marijuana DUI, police rely on their observation of the driver's behavior. Based on the officer's judgment, drivers may be asked to provide a sample, which is sent to the lab for marijuana testing. The Implied Consent laws require the driver to comply.
Difference Between a Rhode Island Marijuana DUI and an Alcohol DUI
Although there's a safe zone for the level of alcohol in your blood, that's not true for marijuana. Rhode Island has adopted a zero-tolerance for THC. You can drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.079% or lower and escape any legal consequences. However, any trace of marijuana subjects the driver to a marijuana DUI according to the marijuana DUI laws in Rhode Island. There is one exception. People registered for medicinal marijuana aren't considered under the influence just for having marijuana metabolites in their system.
Consequences for Marijuana DUI in Rhode Island
The punishments for marijuana DUI are based on the number of violations you have and other factors, as follows:
First-time offenders may receive a $500 fine, up to 60 hours of community service, and a year in jail time. In addition, your driver's license may be suspended for up to 18 months. The judge will order you to take a DUI course. Depending on other charges such as possession of marijuana, you may also have to attend a drug treatment program.
Second-time offenders face a $1,000 fine, six to twelve months in jail, and a suspension of driving privileges for two years after their sentence.
Third-time offenders pay up to $5,000, face up to five years of prison, and have their driver’s license suspended for three years when they get out of jail.
If you are facing your first or third charge, you need the best RI Criminal Defense Lawyer possible. Talk to RI Marijuana DUI Defense Lawyer Chad F Bank as soon as possible after you are charged.
Issues with Marijuana DUI Testing
There's no standard for the THC threshold that determines when a driver is unfit to drive. Some states have set an amount above 0 to prevent competent drivers from facing arrest. Rhode Island's zero-tolerance policy is problematic. It may prevent drivers under the influence of marijuana from taking to the roadway, but it may also penalize those who aren't hindered by a small amount of THC in their system.
Rhode Island Marijuana DUI Lawyer
If you find yourself in need of Rhode Island Marijuana DUI Defense, it's important to call an experienced RI Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney with a record of winning. Chad Bank is an experienced marijuana DUI lawyer who's ready to go to court for you. Contact our law office today to schedule a case evaluation.