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Marijuana and DUIs in Indiana

In states like Indiana where alcohol is one of the only drugs that is legally available for recreational use, alcohol is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you start talking about driving under the influence. However, even though the law prohibits the use of many other intoxicants, such as marijuana, many people use them anyway and there are legal consequences for both their use and driving while under their influence.

Legal impairment

According to Indiana Code, an individual operating a vehicle can be considered driving while intoxicated if they are driving with a certain amount of alcohol in their system. Additionally, an individual can be considered driving while impaired if they have "a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II 35-48-2 or its metabolite in [their] body." This includes marijuana.

In practical application, this means that a person could be convicted of a DUI long after they have ingested any intoxicant and are no longer impaired. For example, an individual could go on a trip to Colorado or Washington or California (or any of the other 8 states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal), legally smoke marijuana, come back to Indiana and be pulled over and charged with a DUI as long as there are metabolites still in their system.

For marijuana, the metabolites can potentially stay in a person's system for around a month. This means you could be legally charged with a DUI even though you were not impaired.

Implied consent

Indiana has what is known as an implied consent law. This law states that, by operating a vehicle, you are consenting to any chemical tests police officers request that you take, e.g. roadside intoxication tests. If you refuse to take a chemical test, the officer will immediately revoke your driver's license and it will be suspended for a year.

Penalties for driving while high

First offense

· Considered a misdemeanor

· Between 5 and 60 days in jail

· Up to 180 hours of community service

· Fines up to $500

· License suspension and/or probation up to 2 years

Second offense

· Class D felony

· Between 5 days and 3 years of jail time

· Fines up to $10,000

· License suspension and/or probation up to 2 years

Third offense

· Class D felony

· Between 10 days to 3 years of jail time

· Fines up to $10,000

· License suspension for a minimum of a year

· Probation up to 2 years.

There is no denying that any of these charges is very serious and has the potential to have a very significant impact on your future. It is in situations like these where having a solid defense makes all of the difference. If you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with a DUI of any kind, it is suggested that you obtain the services of a legal professional.

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