When you have been arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence, you are only being charged with the potential of having committed an offense. This does not mean you are convicted. Before you can be convicted, the government must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, only then can you be found guilty of the offense.
The prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. For a person to be found guilty of driving under the influence, they must be guilty of two elements; they must be found to be driving, and driving while impaired.
When a person has consumed alcohol and are driving, the Court has a guideline which they can follow to determine impairment. The government has found that if a person has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, they are reasonably impaired enough to the point where their driving may be impacted.
Therefore, when a person has submitted to a blood alcohol test and gotten a reading of .08 or over, the Prosecutor has strong case as to the person being impaired. This, however, is not as easy when the person is driving only under the influence of marijuana.
The government has been unable to determine an exact amount that establishes how much marijuana may be consumed before a person is considered too impaired to drive efficiently. Because there is no legislatively established limit to detect impairment, it makes the Prosecutor’s case weak.
The Prosecutor must work harder to prove that the driver was impaired. He must show that he would not be able to drive without causing serious harm or injury.
Let’s consider an example. David was driving under the influence of alcohol alone. When he is asked to take a blood alcohol test he gets a reading of .10. When he goes before the Judge, the Prosecutor does not need to prove that the driver was impaired, the .10 reading already demonstrates to the Court that he is impaired.
In contrast, Daniel is stopped for driving under the influence of marijuana. Because he under the influence of marijuana, a blood alcohol test will not demonstrate a conclusive reading of the amount of marijuana in his system. Instead, the Prosecutor must demonstrate through the officer’s observations and police report to prove impairment. Because there is no concrete evidence, it makes the Prosecutor’s case a lot harder to prove.
If you have been stopped for the suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, there is a strong chance that you can get the case reduced or dismissed because Prosecutors have a weak case and will not be able to easily prove impairment. Consult with a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI lawyer to help you prepare a powerful argument so that you have the best possible chances in Court.