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Can i be charged with a dui for being under the influence of marijuana?

Port Hueneme, CA |

i was stopped on a military base for a random search (i was told no warrant is needed because its federal property) and i was in possession of under a gram of marijuana and a pipe. i was not high at all and an officer gave me Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and a Rhomberg Balance test. after the test the officer came to the conclusion i was impaired and gave me a ticket for a dui but i was not arrested nor has my license been suspended.

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Attorney answers 4


It is against the law to drive while under the influence of marijuana. It has always been assumed that cannabis, like alcohol, impairs the perception, coordination, reflexes and judgment necessary for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. And, of course, there have been governmental studies addressing the question: Does marijuana impair driving? Interestingly, however, the findings do not necessarily support popular opinion....

On the one hand, the California Department of Justice has found that marijuana undoubtedly impairs psychomotor abilities that are functionally related to driving and that driving skills may be impaired, particularly at high-dose levels or among inexperienced users. "Marijuana and Alcohol: A Driver Performance Study", California Office of Traffic Safety Project No. 087902 (Sept. 1986).

Contradicting these conclusions, however, are two federal studies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation conducted research with a fully interactive simulator on the effects of alcohol and marijuana, alone and in combination, on driver-controlled behavior and performance. Although alcohol was found consistently and significantly to cause impairment, marijuana had only an occasional effect. Also, there was little evidence of interaction between alcohol and marijuana. Accidents and speeding tickets reliably increased with alcohol, but no marijuana or combined alcohol-marijuana influence was noted. "The Effects of Alcohol on Driver-Controlled Behavior in a Driving Simulator, Phase I", DOT-HS-806-414.

A more recent report entitled "Marijuana and Actual Performance", noted that "THC is not a profoundly impairing drug....It apparently affects controlled information processing in a variety of laboratory tests, but not to the extent which is beyond the individuals ability to control when he is motivated and permitted to do so in driving".

So hire a local experienced DUI to fight your case.


You have a few things going on. My first question is are you currently in the military. If you are in the military you are looking at more than just possible criminal charges depending upon how your commander wants to handle this situation. This could potentially ruin your military career. The next important thing to know is that yes you can be charged and convicted of a DUI based on having marijuana in your system. Was your blood drawn? If there was not a blood test taken and a DRE did not come and conduct the FST’s on you it will make the prosecutors case much more difficult. You need to call a local DUI attorney right away and if you are in the military preferably one that was a former JAG.
Robert Driessen

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at



no i am not in the military. and it was the base police officer who tested me and i know for a fact he isn't a DRE. and i was not given a piss test or blood test


because it is a drug related DUI they would not have taken your license. the DMV only handle alcohol related cases. what I would want to know is did you get a bladder urine test


The short answer is that without a blood or urine test it is almost certain that you will not be convicted of a DUI! A breathtest would be ineffective as it only measures alcohol absorption. In any event, most experts will be able to confirm that you should never plead to an marijuana related DUI allegation.