Can I get a DUI even if I have a Medical Marijuana Card?
In Oklahoma, the short answer is yes. According to current Oklahoma Statutes, the ability to legally use a controlled substance for medical purposes does not mean that it is legal to operate a motor vehicle while under its influence (47 O.S. 11-902 (B)). This applies to any substance that might cause impairment, whether it is a prescription or not. If a substance impairs cognitive function and normal reflexes it is neither safe nor legal to drive. The legality of the substance is irrelevant.
There are many prescriptions that have side effects that include drowsiness or impaired reflexes and it will say so on the bottle when you receive it. “CAUTION!!! This medication may cause drowsiness! Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you!” This applies to everything from heavy duty prescription narcotics to over-the-counter Benadryl.
According to the law, Marijuana is no exception. This exemplifies a situation in which older statutes have not been updated to reflect new laws. Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I substance, even though Schedule I substances are considered to be those substances that lack a medical purpose (63 O.S. 2-203 & 63 O.S. 2-204 (C)(12)). The DUI Statute states that having anyamount of a Schedule I drug in your system is a violation (47 O.S. 11-902 (A)(3)). As such, testing positive is sufficient cause for prosecution, and the State does not have to prove that you were impaired, merely that it was in your system.
This is problematic for those who use legal medical Marijuana due to the fact that it lingers in your body long after its mind-altering effects have worn off. It can take up to thirty (30) days for your body to completely metabolize it.
This is a burgeoning issue in law and the administrative and legislative branches of the government are still trying to manage the legalization of Marijuana for medical purposes. As an individual, be sure to be responsible and take precautions to ensure your protection from a system that is still working out some of the kinks.
If you get stopped, politely decline from making any statements without your attorney present. Do not consent to taking the field sobriety test. Do not consent to a search of your vehicle. If you get arrested for a DUI call an experienced, aggressive, and compassionate team of attorneys that can handle the criminal and DPS issues for you. Why hire an attorney when you can hire a team?
Written by Lauren Stanley