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Consider how implied consent works with marijuana driving charges

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | DUI

Despite Virginia’s recent legalization of marijuana, there are still limits to what you may do with it. For example, possession between one and four ounces still results in a civil violation and a $25 fine. While Virginia law allows you to gift up to one ounce to a friend, it is a class 5 felony to sell the same amount with the appropriate permissions.

Just like driving under the influence of alcohol, Virginia also prohibits drugged driving. The Virginia statutes that NORML cites indicate how the various laws work with each other.

Unlawful driving

By Virginia law, it is illegal to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. The specifics only indicate “to a degree which impairs your ability to drive.”

The way law enforcement establishes an impaired ability usually involves testing after a traffic stop. Implied consent laws in Virginia state that all people who drive on Virginia highways grant to samples of blood, breath or both for chemical tests to determine the presence of controlled substances.

Uncertain testing

The trouble with marijuana comes from the fact that testing for its presence is not necessarily a sure case that you drove under the influence. The presence of marijuana lingers in the body long after the high subsides. While some states have established per se limits, Virginia has not.

In the case of a traffic stop where law enforcement believes you drove under the influence, it is important to remember your rights, lean on your resources and insist on defending yourself against charges that potentially threaten the future of your driver’s license.


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