Driving high means DUI


EUREKA, Calif. - Though the state of California voted to give adults the green light to use marijuana recreationally when they voted to pass Proposition 64, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) says drivers are not allowed to drive while under the influence of pot.

CHP officers and sergeants are going through an enhanced training called "Advanced Roadside Impaired Driver Enforcement," which will be used to determine whether a driver is high.

Sergeant Oscar Chavez works in the Impaired Driver Section of the CHP in Sacramento. He said officers will continue to look at a driver's pattern to determine if they are impaired. 

"Taking consideration of the driving pattern, what does the officer see on approach?" Chavez said. "What are some of the things they see, hear or smell?" 

He said once an officer determines a driver is high during a field sobriety test, they can make an arrest. 

"We will ask for a blood sample for confirmation,"  Chavez said. He said depending on the officer's experience, testing blood for cannabis levels can take up to an hour. 

However, the testing may have room for error. Blood tests can detect marijuana that has been in a person's system for days- even weeks. Therefore, CHP officers will continue with an arrest based on the "totality of evidence," mostly a collection of observations that they can use to determine probable cause.

Chavez said people riding with marijuana in their car will be able to do so by following laws similarly to alcohol regulations. He said if transporting marijuana, a person must have it in a sealed container, or, if the container is open, in the truck of their car.  

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