Nov 28 2011

Just Say No in the Context of a DUI

It is the holiday season and I am writing you this article to hopefully keep some of you from being arrested. I know you have been taught by your parents and by society that it is always wrong to lie. We have been indoctrinated from an early age that it is always important to tell the truth; in fact in grade school we were taught that our first president George Washington cut down a cherry tree and then when asked about it, confessed to his misdeeds. Telling the truth is always a noble endeavor but the caveat is sometimes when questioned by the police it is okay to tell a white lie.

Specifically, if you are pulled over by a police officer and he asks you, if you have smoked marijuana recently, the answer is always NO. Even if this is not the whole truth, because if you answer truthfully, in the state of Nevada, you will almost always be arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. i.e. DUI. The truth will definitely not set you free.

The reason for this is that Nevada has a law that states if you have a certain amount of THC (marijuana), or marijuana metabolite in your system while driving you are guilty of a DUI. This is the case even if you are not, at the time of driving impaired by the drug. In fact, you could have smoked marijuana days, if not weeks before driving and still be over the legal limit.

This is because Nevada has a” per se law “which mandates anyone over this limit is guilty of a DUI. I know a DUI should be “driving under the influence”, but this sadly is not the law in the state of Nevada. Thus, even if you have a medical marijuana card , this is generally not a defense. In fact, telling an officer that you have a legal marijuana card, from this state or from the neighboring state of California, will almost always insure your arrest.  The police know that if you smoked in the past week you will most likely be over the limit and technically guilty of a DUI.

I can state that if you do have a valid medical marijuana card from Nevada or California, there is a legal argument that can be used in your defense, but this is only after you have been arrested, spent time in jail and had your life severely inconvenienced.

So, if during this holiday season you find yourself in the situation where you are pulled over by a police officer and he asks you if you have smoked marijuana, do not state”, I smoked last night”,” I smoked last week”, I  smoked  a month ago”. Never admit to having smoked at all. Because any of the above answers will most likely lead to a DUI investigation and a subsequent arrest.  This is even if you are not impaired in any manner, by the marijuana.

In closing, enjoy this holiday season. Do not drink and drive, and if you have smoked in the last month and you have to drive, when asked by the officer, it’s okay to tell a white lie.

Happy Holidays

Please, a white lie should only be told to the police as described above, this advice does not apply to loved ones, employees, bosses or especially your lawyer.

 

Posted in: Alcohol Related Offenses, Criminal Law, DUI, Misdemeanors Posted by: Tawny

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