Providence has a zero-tolerance policy toward marijuana DUI. How do police determine whom to test for a marijuana DUI? Often, officers will initially make that determination by observing the drivers’ behavior. In Rhode Island, drivers are considered to have given consent to a chemical test of breath, blood, and urine by simply being on the road. If the police have reason to believe that the operator of a vehicle may be under the influence of marijuana, he or she may ask the driver to provide a lab sample that might then be tested for THC and its metabolites.
Implied Consent Laws and Marijuana DUI
The more nuanced news is that Rhode Island laws are written so that it is illegal for an individual to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance; marijuana is still a controlled substance, and it is illegal to possess marijuana while operating a vehicle, even though Rhode Island has decriminalized marijuana and legalized it for medicinal use. The one exception is if the driver is legally registered to use medical marijuana. An individual registered for medicinal use is not considered to be under the influence merely due to having marijuana metabolites in his or her system. The Implied Consent laws of Rhode Island mean that a driver is required to submit a sample if requested by law enforcement. If the chemical test reveals any trace of marijuana, the driver will be subject to a marijuana DUI. Unlike an alcohol DUI, where there is a test for a driver's blood-alcohol level, things can get complicated with marijuana DUI because marijuana is fat-soluble and the time THC stays in an individual's body depends upon myriad factors. This means that drivers who are fully capable of operating an auto may fail chemical tests.
Repercussions for Marijuana DUI in Rhode Island
Punishments for marijuana DUI are determined by a previous marijuana DUI. A first-time offense means the possibility of being subject to a $500 fine, community service of 20 to 60 hours, up to one year of jail time, driving license suspension of 3 to 18 months, and possibly a mandatory driving course or a drug treatment program. A second marijuana DUI offense could be subject to a $1,000 fine, jail time up to one year, and a suspended driver’s license for two years. For a third-time offense, the fine can range from $1,000 to $5,000, jail time of 3 to 5 years, a suspended driver’s license for three years, and the possibility of having your vehicle seized and sold.
A Leading Providence Marijuana DUI Attorney Can Help
If you find yourself facing a Providence marijuana DUI, then you need an attorney who understands the system and has successfully defended many Providence Marijuana DUI cases. Please call 401-229-5544 to find out more about how I can help you. I am here to protect your rights, 24/7. Our office is situated directly across the street from the courthouse in Providence to help provide ease, peace of mind, convenience, and affordable representation, and our law firm has been consistently rated one of the top criminal defense firms in Providence DUI.