Everyone knows that a DWI can involve alcohol, but intoxicated driving charges are not reserved for drunk driving. North Carolina residents can also be arrested and charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI) if caught under the influence of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle.
If you are arrested for a marijuana DWI, contact a Charlotte marijuana DWI lawyer at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately. We will investigate the situation and help you avoid the harshest consequences. Call us today at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.
North Carolina marijuana laws are among the strictest in the United States. Possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal, although possession of less than 0.5 ounces is decriminalized and punishable only by a fine. Possession of more than 0.5 ounces is a felony, and the penalties increase with the amount of marijuana possessed.
Driving while impaired (DWI) by marijuana is a crime in North Carolina. North Carolina law does not have a specific limit for THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana), meaning that you can be convicted of a DWI even if you have a small amount of THC in your system. The prosecution must prove that you were impaired to the point where you could not safely operate a vehicle under the law.
A DWI due to impairment caused by marijuana is similar to drinking and driving; however, there are some distinct differences, including:
It is illegal to drive under the influence of any impairing substance, including alcohol, drugs, and marijuana. You can be convicted of driving while impaired by marijuana even if you have a small amount of THC in your system.
Here are some tips to avoid a DWI due to impairment caused by marijuana:
Remember, driving while impaired by marijuana is a dangerous crime that can have serious consequences.
Law enforcement officers use DWI testing and signs of impairment to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or drugs.
DWI testing can include:
Signs of impairment that law enforcement officers may look for include:
If a law enforcement officer suspects a driver is impaired, they may ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests. It is important to note that even if a driver passes a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test, they can still be arrested for DWI if the officer has reasonable suspicion that they are impaired.
Technically, you can refuse a blood draw and field sobriety testing if you are suspected of driving while impaired while under the influence of marijuana, but there are consequences for doing so.
North Carolina is an implied consent state. This means that you consent to a chemical analysis of your blood, breath, or urine by driving on a North Carolina road, highway, or public vehicular area. If you refuse a DWI test, your driver’s license will be revoked for one year.
Even if you refuse a test, the officer can still arrest you for DWI based on other factors, such as your driving behavior and performance on field sobriety tests.
Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to refuse a DWI test:
If you are arrested for driving while impaired by marijuana in North Carolina, you could face penalties, including:
If you are convicted of driving while impaired by marijuana more than one time, you could face even harsher penalties, including a felony conviction and a longer driver’s license suspension.
It is important to note that even if you are not convicted of driving while impaired by marijuana, you could still face penalties from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV may suspend or revoke your driver’s license if they determine you are a danger to yourself or others.
Several defenses can be used to defend against marijuana DWI charges in North Carolina. Some of the most common defenses include:
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. If you are charged with marijuana DWI, you have the right to defend yourself.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a marijuana DWI, you likely have many questions. The attorneys at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys have the answers.
There is no legal limit for THC in North Carolina. That means you can get a marijuana DWI with any amount of THC in your system as long as the police officer determines you are impaired while driving.
A marijuana DWI conviction will stay on your record permanently in North Carolina and cannot be expunged.
If you are pulled over for a suspected marijuana DWI, it is important to be polite and cooperative with the police officer. However, you should also be aware of your rights.
Here are some tips for what to do if you are pulled over for a suspected marijuana DWI:
If you need to know how to beat a marijuana DWI, you should immediately contact a drugged driving attorney at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys. We know the marijuana laws in North Carolina and will fight for your rights throughout the legal process.