If you have a medical marijuana card and drive, you are at risk for a DUI/DWI charge. Your medical marijuana card is NOT a defense to a DUI/DWI. Your medical marijuana card can even put you at risk of getting a DUI/DWI the next time you drive if you do not know how to handle a routine traffic stop.
In Nevada, one can be charged with a DUI/DWI under Nevada’s prohibited substance DUI/DWI law NRS 484C.110. If you are driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and law enforcement takes your blood, chances are that you will trigger the Nevada per se limits for marijuana and marijuana metabolite. It only takes 2 nanograms of marijuana per milliliter of blood to trigger a DUI/DWI. To make matters worse, it only takes 5 nanograms of marijuana metabolite per milliliter of blood to trigger a DUI/DWI. Marijuana metabolite can linger in your systems for days and weeks depending on how often you ingest marijuana. So even though you are not under the influence of marijuana, you can still get a DUI/DWI.
How To Handle the Stop
Once you are stopped by law enforcement, just hand the officer your driver’s license, registration and insurance. Do NOT answer any further questions. Politely invoke your right to remain silent and request your attorney to be present. The officer may threaten you and even lie, just remain calm and remain silent. Officers are trained to ask standard questions during routine traffic stops and there are certain questions that may put you at risk for a DUI/DWI if you have a medical marijuana card.
Typically the officer will ask, “are your under doctor’s care?” If you answer, “yes,” then the next question may be, “are you on any medication?” If you answer, “yes, I am on medical marijuana,” then the officer now suspects your are driving under the influence and will most likely ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform some standardized field sobriety test.
Do not do these tests. Law enforcement will use these test to build probable cause against you to make an arrest and a case against you. Law enforcement may even threaten you with arrest if you do not do these tests, which they may do, but by doing their test you are only building a case against yourself.
Always remain silent and do NOT bring up the fact you are a medical marijuana patient. Also, do not have any paraphernalia or medication in your vehicle. If you must transport your medication, then keep it in the trunk or a safe place out of plain view. Never smoke in your vehicle. Never consent to a search of your vehicle. If an officer does arrest you, refuse to consent to any testing and make the officer get a warrant if they want to take your blood.
If you have been arrested for a DUI/DWI, contact our office at .
This is for information purposes only. This does not create an attorney client relationship.