Nevada Prosecutors Can No Longer Use the Per Se Limits for Marijuana DUI Convictions
The passage of AB400 changed the way prosecutors must prove marijuana DUI convictions. This revision of the law does away with the per se blood or urine limit and shifts the focus to actual impairment. This law was introduced to protect Nevadans who lawfully use marijuana from being unjustly convicted of a DUI. This bill also better aligns marijuana with other prescription drugs that have never had a per se blood limit.
Marijuana DUI Convictions: Per Se Limit Vs. Impairment
Per Se Limit
Up until July 1, 2021, the laws for a Marijuana DUI conviction were based on a blood of urine limit per se. This was an exact measurement of the amount of Tetracanabidiol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis, in a person’s blood stream. Under the old law, a person was considered to be legally impaired by marijuana if they had 2ng/ml of marijuana or 5ng/ml of marijuana metabolite in their blood. In order to secure a marijuana DUI conviction, all the prosecution had to do was test the suspect’s blood and prove it was over the limit. They could also do this using a urine test if there was over 10ng/ml of active marijuana in the sample (or 15ng/ml of metabolite in the urine.
Impairment has always been a path to a DUI conviction. Reckless or dangerous driving is a sure sign of alcohol or drug impairment. There are also several field sobriety tests that can be administered to prove impairment by alcohol and controlled substances. This has always been a difficult path for prosecutors, and they have generally preferred to use blood alcohol content for alcohol and nanograms of marijuana per liter of blood to prove guilt. Tests that provide quantifiable results are hard to disprove.
Proving a Marijuana DUI Conviction After July 1,2021
AB400 was introduced on the grounds that prolonged marijuana use affects everyone differently. Some extended marijuana users have no impairment to their psychomotor functions, even after achieving a per se blood limit well above the former legal limit. Due to their increased marijuana use, it may also be impossible for some medical marijuana patients to stay below the former per se limit.
As a result of the passage of AB400, impairment is now the only way a Nevada prosecutor can secure a marijuana DUI conviction. They must prove that marijuana has impaired the driver’s ability to safely drive the vehicle. This is a very difficult position for prosecutors to be in, as they can no longer use a chemical test. They must use other evidence to prove guilt, such as witnesses, driving patterns, or field sobriety tests.
Jesse Kalter Has Experience Defending Against Marijuana DUI Convictions
Even with the laws for marijuana changing for Nevadans, a Marijuana DUI is still a difficult case to defend. Prosecutors and judges are very serious about keeping the streets of Nevada safe for everyone. They may seek harsh penalties if someone is convicted of a marijuana DUI. Jesse Kalter has vast experience and an expert knowledge of Nevada law. He has, and continues to, effectively defend against marijuana DUI or alcohol DUI charges. He has secured numerous not guilty verdicts across his career and had several other cases dismissed or the charges reduced. He is available to serve the people of Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Dayton, Yerington, Douglas County, and all other Northern NV rural counties.
Secure a Strong Defense Against Marijuana DUI Convictions
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