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Court Rules that THC in Blood is Not Grounds for DUI

A Court of Appeals in Phoenix recently delivered a ruling that could possibly set a precedent as state-wide legal systems struggle to determine how medical cannabis usage plays a role in DUI arrests and charges. According to the court’s ruling, “medical marijuana users cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence of the drug absent proof that they were actually impaired.” The ruling went on to state that Arizona has no law specifically addressing THC levels in an individual’s blood when behind the wheel.

Landmark Ruling Considered a Setback for Prosecutors

Under this landmark ruling, prosecutors must now provide expert testimony in every case charging medical marijuana users with DUI – the expert testimony must prove that the individual in question was impaired at whatever level of THC was found in their blood. According to an article by The Free Thought Project, in 2013 Nadir Ishak was pulled over after officers noticed his vehicle drifting in and out of highway lanes. When pulled over, Ishak admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that morning and officers placed him under arrest. At the time of his arrest, Ishak had a state-issued medical card, yet the city judge responsible for overseeing his case refused to allow him to bring this piece of information to the jurors during his trial.

By simply being able to show jurors his medical card, Ishak would have successfully proven that he was legally entitled to use the drug and have it in his system. Judge Diane Johnsen commented on the case, agreeing that Ishak was not given a fair trial and the city judge overstepped and was out of line in mandating that “it was up to Ishak to prove he was not impaired.” While there is currently no sure-fire method to test cannabis impairment in drivers, THC levels can still come up in blood tests long after an individual has smoked or ingested the drug.

Arrested? Contact Attorney David R. Fischer Today

If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, you should not hesitate to secure award-winning defense from the Law Office of David R. Fischer. When facing criminal charges, your choice in representation is absolutely crucial and you should not risk your future by placing your trust in the hands of a mediocre defense attorney. At our firm, our dedicated Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer maintains a 10/10 Superb Avvo Rating and has received recognition from Super Lawyers and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

We’re ready to hear your side of the story. Call (702) 886-9864 today for a free case evaluation.