Cannabis DUI and Alcohol DUI Laws are Treated the Same

In many states, cannabis DUI laws are treated like alcohol DUI laws.But a cannabis DUI and an alcohol DUI should be treated differently for many reasons. One example of their difference is how THC and alcohol levels are metabolized. THC stays in the body for weeks after consuming while alcohol is purged in several hours. Yet the highs last about the same amount of time.Getting pulled over weeks after smoking results in drivers getting charged with a DUI. That’s because it’s difficult for cops to determine how recently a driver smoked a bowl. Traditional sobriety tests don’t correspond to cannabis effects either. For example, a stoned driver can stand on one leg while a drunk driver cannot.Scott Leist was a Seattle police officer, and a defense attorney for the Washington Traffic Defense. Leist agrees that Washington’s Cannabis DUI laws are a problem. In Washington, there is a .08 limit for alcohol and THC, but THC is nothing like alcohol.Leist said, “some studies suggest that driving with moderate levels of THC in one’s system can actually improve driving performance.” There is simply no good science about what determines impaired driving with weed and what doesn’t.THC doesn’t metabolize quickly and completely like alcohol.Leist found that alcohol can metabolize quickly, meaning that it is easy to test when the last time alcohol was consumed. Marijuana is different because a person can consume weed and be impaired for a few hours. But THC stays in the system long after the consumption and high phase.How quickly and completely THC metabolizes depends on a few factors. Namely; how it was consumed and when, how often the person consumes, and the potency of the substance. Small amounts of THC can be found days or even weeks after consumption. At the other end, a heavy consumer can test over the 5ng/mL limit long after they are sober.Alcohol has more exact prediction than weed. What is the marijuana equivalent of two beers? How much THC at what age and weight will get a person to 5ng/mL levels? How fast does THC wear off for each person? Nobody knows the answers to these questions because cannabis research is hampered by federal scheduling. Alcohol has no scheduling restrictions to prevent accurate studies so much more research is available.There are no accurate field sobriety tests for THC intoxication.Police Officers don’t have a lot of experience or training for marijuana DUI detection’s. Smell alone is not a good clue for recent intoxication. Physical signs like red eyes is not enough to prove that a person is THC impaired.There are a variety of reasons a driver might experience the ‘signs of THC intoxication’. A person crying or struggling with allergies causes red eyes. Fatigue can also reproduce the short-term memory issues associated with weed.The best method cops have available is a warrant granted blood test. But blood tests don’t reveal when the last time the driver consumed weed. Unlike alcohol, there is no way to check if a person has had too much THC. There is no breathalyzer that would reveal THC impairment. A person can’t give themselves a field sobriety test like the alcohol tests.Abby McLean drove sober and received a DUI.Northglen, Colorado resident Abby McLean went through a DUI roadside checkpoint on her way home. She is 30, had nothing to drink or smoke that night and had no worries. When the cop walked up to her car he saw that she had blood shot eyes and smelled weed in the car.The cop pulled out his handcuffs to arrests McLean when she exclaimed that she was on her way home to her children. McLean was forced to take a blood test which tested positive for THC intoxication. Her blood test was 5 times over the legal limit. She didn’t go to jail that night but she did go to court. It was a hung jury, but McLean settled for a lesser punishment.Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at New York University. Kleiman said, “you can be positive for THC a week after the last time you used cannabis. Not subjectively impaired at all, not impaired at all by any objective measure, but still positive.”It didn’t matter that McLean hadn’t smoked at all that night. If she smoked a week ago, she still got a cannabis DUI. Denver, Colorado’s District Attorney Mitch Morrissey says that Colorado won’t completely throw out the THC blood test. He then explained how it gives courts an extra piece of evidence during trials.How to travel with cannabis in the car.Scientists at UCSD are researching a new generation of cannabis field sobriety tests. One of these tests is called critical tracking. A person moves their finger around a square on a tablet to measure time distortion, because time can slow down when a person is high.

Source: Cannabis DUI and Alcohol DUI Laws are Treated the Same – Weed Reader

Rio Grande City lawyer charged with DWI, drug possession

Man claims substance, which found to be cocaine, was prescribed

EDINBURG — A Rio Grande City lawyer faces state drug and driving while intoxicated charges after he was pulled over Monday night in Edinburg after running a red light.

Juan Eduardo Garcia was booked in the Hidalgo County jail on the afternoon of July 4 on one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

He was released later that day on a $7,500 personal recognizance bond, jail records state.

Garcia was stopped by Edinburg Police around 8:50 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Jackson and Trenton Roads.

During the traffic stop Garcia admitted he made a mistake running the red light and had one beer earlier in the day, according to the criminal complaint.

The officer noted that Garcia showed signs of intoxication such as “red blood watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol.”

Garcia refused to submit to a blood-alcohol level test.

The officer also discovered what appeared to be a white powdery substance on a dollar bill inside his wallet, an allegation Garcia denies.

“I don’t believe they have any substance,” Garcia said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The prescription will hold up.”

The 41-year-old attorney did not elaborate on what the prescription was, however, the substance, which weighed 1 gram, later tested for cocaine, the complaint states.

Garcia has been a licensed lawyer in Texas since 2005 and specializes in criminal defense.

“I’m a little bit disappointed on this whole issue,” he said.

If convicted of the most serious charge, possession of a controlled substance, Garcia faces between two to 10 years in prison.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_26ac654c-62bc-11e7-b87e-5ba4c2266253.html

Nevada launches sales of legal recreational marijuana

 Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada became the fifth state in the U.S. with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes, opening a market early Saturday that is eventually expected to outpace any other in the nation thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas.People began purchasing marijuana shortly after midnight, just months after voters approved legalization in November and marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country.Hundreds of people lined up at Essence Cannabis Dispensary on the Las Vegas Strip. People were excited and well-behaved as a lone security guard looked on. A valet was available to park the cars of customers.A cheer erupted when the doors opened.Those 21 and older with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot. Tourists are expected to make nearly two of every three recreational pot purchases in Nevada, but people can only use the drug in a private home.It remains illegal to light up in public areas, including the Las Vegas Strip, casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, convention centers and concert halls — places frequently visited by tourists. Violators face a $600 fine.And driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.Despite the limits on where people can get high and restrictions on where the industry can advertise, dispensaries worked furiously to prepare for the launch. They stamped labels on pot products, stocked up their shelves, added security and checkout stations, and announced specials.Desert Grown Farms hired about 60 additional employees. Workers in scrubs, hair nets and surgical masks slapped stickers on sealed jars this week as others checked on marijuana plants or carefully weighed buds.“It would be a good problem to have if I couldn’t meet my demand,” said CEO Armen Yemenidjian, whose Desert Grown Farms owns the only dispensary that is selling recreational pot on the Las Vegas Strip, across the street from the Stratosphere hotel.Some dispensaries took to social media to spread the word or tried to draw in buyers with special events. Some planned to give away free marijuana to their first 100 customers or throw parties with barbecues and food trucks later in the afternoon.Some facilities are in strip malls, while others, in stereotypical Las Vegas fashion, are in neighborhoods shared by strip clubs.Nevada joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in allowing adults to buy the drug that’s still banned by the federal government.

Source: Nevada launches sales of legal recreational marijuana | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Woman arrested after speeding 100 mph through three counties

 HART COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) — A high-speed chase through parts of three Kentucky counties ended with a Louisville woman’s arrest.Police say they had to use stop sticks to force Sharon Buckland, 52, to come to a stop after she reportedly drove more than 100 miles-per-hour and nearly hit several vehicles in downtown Elizabethtown – putting officers lives in danger.After speeding through Meade and Hardin Counties Buckland was arrested in Hart County early Sunday morning.Her charges include fleeing and evading police, first-degree wanton endangerment, reckless driving, speeding in exceess of 100 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.Police say Buckland admitted to taking Hydrocodone and Xanax.One citation says she apologized for her alleged actions.Another citation says Buckland told police her father told her to “drive it like you stole it.”Police said Buckland drove without her headlights illuminated during the pursuit, which happened between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. on Sunday.

Source: Woman arrested in Hart County after speeding 100 mph through three counties

‘Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Wants All Mention of Alcohol Banned From His Fatal Crash Case

Former reality TV star also doesn’t want the man who was killed in the incident referred to as a “victim”Tim Kenneally | June 16, 2017 @ 5:22 PMBuchanan County Sheriff’s DepartmentThere will be no drunk talk in the case against “Bachelor” alum Chris Soules. At least if he has his way.Soules, who was arrested and charged with leaving the scene where a death occurred in Iowa earlier this year, has filed a motion asking to suppress any alcohol-related evidence in the case against him.The motion reasons that the evidence should be suppressed because Soules tested negative for drugs or alcohol.ADVERTISINGAlso Read:Chris Soules Pleads Not Guilty to Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident“Any evidence, testimony, reference, or argument that, on the night in question, Mr. Soules: 1) purchased alcohol, 2) consumed alcohol, 2) drove while impaired, or 3) had beer cans in or around his vehicle” are inadmissible, the motion contends. “According to a report issued by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Criminalistics Laboratory, Mr. Soules’ specimens were negative for drugs and alcohol. The DCI conducted thorough toxicology testing on two separate samples – his urine and blood – and conclusively determined no detectable amounts of alcohol or drugs were in either specimen.”Soules was arrested at his home near Arlington, Iowa, following a fatal crash that left 66-year-old Kenneth Eugene Mosher dead. The former reality TV star was taken into custody after the pickup truck he was driving rear-ended a John Deere tractor, according to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office.In a May filing, Buchanan County, Iowa, attorney Shawn M. Harden said that Soules bought alcohol at a convenience store prior to the crash, ABC News reports.Also Read:’Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Formally Charged in Fatal CrashHarden also alleged that the reality TV veteran had “empty and partially consumed open” alcoholic beverages “located in and around his vehicle.”Friday’s motion also asked that Mosher not be identified as a “victim” in the case.“The State has not charged Mr. Soules with any crime asserting he is criminally responsible for the death of the decedent. Thus, it is wholly improper for the State or any witness to refer to the decedent as a ‘victim’ since such a reference inaccurately characterizes the events relevant to the instant charge and would not have any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of this action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence and is more prejudicial than probative, will cause confusion of the issues and will mislead the jury as finders of fact,” the motion reads.Also Read:’Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Bought Alcohol Shortly Before Fatal Car Crash, Prosecutor SaysPreviously, Soules filed a motion to dismiss, contending that he satisfied the Iowa code governing conduct in such instances.According to court papers filed by the former reality TV star in Iowa district court, Soules — who gained notoriety as “Prince Farming” on the reality series — “unhesitatingly identified himself and his role in the accident” in a 911 call and “tried his utmost to resuscitate” Mosher.“Mr. Soules described the location of the accident and communicated with dispatch for approximately 5 minutes and 45 seconds while help was en route,” the court papers read. “The evidence will further show that emergency responders arrived on the scene shortly after Mr. Soules concluded his 911 call. Mr. Soules remained on the scene with those emergency responders for several more minutes before returning to his home.”Also Read:Former ‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules’ New Attorneys Say He ‘Acted Reasonably’ Following Deadly Car CrashSoules has pleaded not guilty.

Source: ‘Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Wants All Mention of Alcohol Banned From His Fatal Crash Case

Eight years, two trials and tens of thousands of dollars later, man guilty of traffic offence

After eight years, a pair of trials where he was twice found not guilty, and a trip to Canada’s highest court, an Ottawa construction worker accused of driving while impaired by marijuana has pleaded guilty to nothing more than a traffic offence.It’s the end of a long legal saga for Carson Bingley that started with erratic driving on Merivale Road in May 2009 and led to a Supreme Court decision that streamlined drugged-driving trials, just as the country moves toward legalizing marijuana by next July.On Monday, the 36-year-old pleaded guilty to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act and was given a $1,000 fine and one-year driving prohibition. Court heard he swerved through traffic, drove in an opposite lane, then hit a parked car in a nearby lot.Bingley was criminally charged with driving while drug-impaired after allegedly failing a roadside sobriety test administered by a specially trained and certified police officer known as a “drug recognition expert” or DRE.MORE: With marijuana legalization, a new problem sprouts: How to test for high driversHe was taken to the police station, where he then underwent a 12-part evaluation for drug impairment that measures things like physical co-ordination, eye movement, blood pressure, pupil size and muscle tone. The evaluation, used across North America and Europe, was added to the Criminal Code in 2008 by the then-Conservative government.The results of Bingley’s evaluation — coupled with his admission that he had used marijuana hours earlier and taken two Xanax — led the DRE to conclude he was impaired by marijuana.But as Bingley’s experience has shown, proving cases of impairment by drugs can be difficult. Unlike alcohol, there are no approved roadside screening devices to determine precise levels of drugs in one’s system. Nor are there currently any legal limits on how much of a drug is too much to drive a car.In April, the federal government proposed new offences as part of Bill C-46 that will make it a crime to drive with more than two nanograms of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, per millilitre of blood. The legislation will also authorize police to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside to determine whether drugs are present in the saliva of a driver they suspect has been using drugs. However, prosecutions will still rely on the evaluation by a DRE at a police station or the taking of a blood sample.Outside of court on Monday, Bingley insists he wasn’t impaired by drugs, which motivated him to keep fighting the charges for as long as he has. Bingley said many of his friends told him he should give up and just plead guilty.Bingley believes his experience illustrates the need for reliable tests to prove someone’s impairment.“By no means do I think people should be out there driving drunk or under the influence. I have a son, I have a family. I don’t want to see someone get hurt,” said Bingley, who has a dated conviction for possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. “If they have that law, they need to have the proper instrument to calculate that with. You have to have the right instrument.”But Bingley’s lawyer, Trevor Brown, said he doesn’t believe the Crown’s decision to resolve Bingley’s case with a plea to a traffic offence is an indictment of the drugged-driving testing regime.“It probably says more about how you can successfully prosecute a case eight years later,” said Brown.In an emailed statement, the Ontario attorney general’s ministry said the Crown carefully considered the public interest in proceeding with a third trial given the history of the case and Bingley’s current circumstances.“Plea agreements are about achieving just and appropriate resolutions in criminal matters while ensuring the effective and efficient use of valuable court resources,” the ministry said.Since being charged in 2009, Bingley’s moved up from his job as an apprentice labourer to a construction supervisor. Bingley’s also the proud father of a one-and-a-half year old, he said.Eight years of court dates and being in constant legal limbo have been an emotional roller-coaster, said Bingley. He estimates the legal fight has cost him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages.However, Bingley’s lawyer said he remains concerned about the reliability of a DRE’s evidence given the “weaknesses and frailties” that were exposed during Bingley’s two trials.In both trials, the successful appeals of the not-guilty verdicts turned on issues surrounding whether a DRE was an expert witness. In the first trial, the judge accepted the evidence of the DRE as a “lay” opinion, but found there was a reasonable doubt as to Bingley’s guilt and acquitted him. At the second trial, the judge didn’t recognize the DRE

Source: Eight years, two trials and tens of thousands of dollars later, man guilty of traffic offence

Greeley police arrest man Thursday night who they say was driving erratically downtown

Greeley police arrested a parolee and a habitual traffic offender after he was seen driving erratically and running a stop sign in downtown Greeley on Thursday night.According to a release from Greeley police, an officer stopped Antonio Rodriguez Jr., 64, in the 1300 block of 7th Avenue about 9:15 p.m.After he was arrested, police found “an amount of suspected illicit controlled substance and a large amount of cash … on his person,” the release stated.Rodriguez was booked into Weld County Jail on suspicion of felony charges of possession/distribution of a controlled substance and parole violation and misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, being a habitual traffic offender and a stop sign violation.

Source: Greeley police arrest man Thursday night who they say was driving erratically downtown | GreeleyTribune.com

Reedsburg woman accused of delivering heroin, police say

REEDSBURG, Wis. – A Reedsburg woman was arrested after a two-month drug investigation, according to a release from Reedsburg police.Police said they stopped and arrested Jessica L. Rogers, 31, after she made a heroin sale in Lake Delton. Officers also searched her home.Rogers was arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin, delivery of heroin, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place and operating while under the influence of a controlled substance.

Source: Reedsburg woman accused of delivering heroin, police say – WISC

The Vermont Governor Vetoed A Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

The Vermont Governor Vetoed A Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana The Associated Press Refinery29May 25, 2017 Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have made Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana, but indicated that he was willing to work with the Legislature on a compromise. Scott said he was sending the bill back with suggestions for another path forward and called for changes to be made to the proposal, such as more aggressive penalties for smoking…

Source: The Vermont Governor Vetoed A Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Tiger Woods DUI arrest: Prescription drugs are latest threat to U.S. road safety

The number of drivers involved in fatal car crashes testing positive for drugs has nearly doubled in 10 years

Tiger Woods isn’t the only one driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Woods, the former No. 1 golfer in the world, was arrested early Monday near his home on Jupiter Island, Fla., for driving under the influence. Police reportedly found him asleep at the steering wheel of a running vehicle and arrested him because of his slurred speech and for failing police-instructed roadside tasks. But his alcohol breath test was zero. In a statement late Monday, Woods said, “I take full responsibility for my actions. I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.” Woods had back surgery last month.

Crashes involving drugged drivers have nearly doubled over the last decade. In 2015, 21% of the 32,166 fatal crashes in the U.S. involved one driver who tested positive for drugs, up from 12% of the 39,252 fatal crashes in 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to data released last year by the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent among drivers on America’s roads, which raises a new safety challenge,” the NHTSA says. “While it’s illegal across the United States to drive while drunk, the laws involving drugged driving vary across the states.”

Video footage released online showed former “Dynasty” star Linda Evans, 74, being arrested in 2014 in Washington State for a DUI after driving erratically. “Unfortunately, I believe that you are under the influence,” the police officer told the actress. She was given a ticket for DUI in the footage first released last March, but this was later amended to reckless driving. Police found 30 pink pills in her car, which Evans said she used as muscle relaxers. “It’s true I was driving while being in physical pain,” Evans told People magazine, but I was not impaired by any narcotic. I did not take any opiate or alcohol.” (Her management did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)

Marijuana is another problem for road safety. Fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington State to 17% in 2014 from 8% in 2013 after the legalization of the drug there, according to a study released last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Legal limits for marijuana and driving are arbitrary and unsupported by science, “which could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted for impaired driving,” AAA spokeswoman Tamra Johnson said. Recreational sales of marijuana ballooned 80% to $1.8 billion in 2016, according to data from Marijuana Business Daily.

Don’t miss: You killed me at hello: 26% of car wrecks involve phones

Another recent survey by the NHTSA found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, which may be due to the legalization of marijuana in many states, but that the increased risk may be due in part because they are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. “In particular, marijuana users are more likely to be young men — a group already at high risk,” the study found. While fatal traffic accidents have declined gradually over the last 10 to 15 years helped by stricter laws related to drunk driving and public safety awareness campaigns, it has crept back up over the last year amid other concerns related to texting while driving.

The spike in fatalities involving drugged drivers is likely an indication of the wider problem. The rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015, adjusted for age, was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999, according to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, due to a fall in the price of heroin and accessibility to prescription drugs. The rate of drug overdose deaths increased to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015 from 6.1 per 100,000 people in 1999, an average rise of 5.5% a year. The biggest spike in fatal drug overdoses took place among Generation X and baby boomers, the CDC concluded.

Some states have created legal limits, also known as “per se limits,” which specify the maximum amount of active tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that drivers can have in their system based on a blood test. THC is the main chemical component in marijuana that can impair driver performance and affect the mind, and the presence of active THC is generally suggestive of recent marijuana use. These limits are similar in concept to the 0.08% blood alcohol limit for driving under the influence of alcohol. But DUIs do run the gamut from marijuana and alcohol to muscle relaxers and prescription pain killers, especially if it leads to impaired driving.

DUIs laws for alcohol also vary by state. Arizona is one of the strictest states for DUIs and has the longest minimum jail term (10 days) for first-time offenders, a vehicle impound and a 90-day minimum jail time for a second offense; DUI is an automatic felony with a third offense and an ignition interlock device is mandatory after one DUI conviction. South Dakota is the least strict out of all 50 states, as it has no minimum sentence for either a first or second DUI; although a third DUI is considered a felony in that state, there is no administrative license suspension, no vehicle impound, no administrative license suspension and no mandatory ignition interlock device required.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tiger-woods-dui-arrest-prescription-drugs-are-a-growing-threat-to-us-road-safety-2017-05-30?mod=genpf_twitter_new2&link=sfmw_tw