With alcohol, the legal limit for a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08%, and the court assumes that anyone with that type of reading on a Breathalyzer is impaired. This has been challenged occasionally, but the idea is that we generally think we understand how alcohol impacts everyone and how much it takes to be impaired. Plus, this limit accounts for differences in size or gender, as BAC can climb higher for a smaller person, for instance, even when they have fewer drinks than a larger person.
With marijuana, the authorities often try to take the same approach. However, there are problems with this “one size fits all” mentality.
One issue is that police just do not have the same types of tests. Marijuana can show up on a drug test for longer than alcohol, but is the person still impaired? Police can use some flawed tests to check the levels of THC in someone’s body, but they lack something as fast and convenient as the alcohol breath test. Therefore, it’s difficult to know if someone is impaired or not due to marijuana use.
Plus, marijuana doesn’t make all people feel high at a specific point, as alcohol does. Some people claim that they’re not impaired at all after smoking, while others may actually pass a drug test and still feel impaired.
Of course, any amount of marijuana is enough to trigger a DUI arrest in Georgia, which has notoriously harsh laws, but that still raises questions of time. Marijuana still shows up on some drug tests days or weeks after use. Are you really impaired while driving if you smoked a week ago?
Those who find themselves facing serious charges related to drugged or drunk driving in these rather complex situations need to understand their legal defense options.