WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR SQ 788 MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD AND DRIVING
With the passage of State Question 788, qualifying persons will be able to possess, use, and grow marijuana. You can download a copy of State Question 788 for full details. Or read a summary of SQ 788 written by Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. But licensed users of medical marijuana should know what the law says about driving and marijuana use. If you’re not careful, you can get in trouble with the law and put your driver’s license at risk, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale.
The information below is for educational purposes only and not legal advice.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE ISN’T JUST ABOUT ALCOHOL
In a simplified explanation, State law prohibits driving in these situations:
• Drugs In System: While having any amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance (e.g., marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, heroin) or one of its broken down components in the person’s blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid at the time of a test of such person’s blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid administered within two hours after the arrest of such person. If you’ve been charged with driving with drugs in your system, contact the Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale.
• Drugs Plus Unsafe Driving: Under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol which may render such person incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle.
• Drugs And Alcohol Plus Unsafe Driving: Under the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance which may render such person incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD NOT A DEFENSE
State law specifically states that the fact that a person “is or has been lawfully entitled to use alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance or any other intoxicating substance shall not constitute a defense.” So, even if you have been lawfully prescribed medication or have a medical marijuana card you could still be charged if you are driving unsafely while under the influence of that medication or have marijuana in your system while driving.
ELEMENTS OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
Every state statute that defines criminal offense can be broken down into parts, or elements. A person cannot be convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicating substances unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements.
2) A motor vehicle;
3) On a public road, street, highway, turnpike or place, or private road, street, alley, lane which provides access to one or more single or multi-family dwellings; and
4) While under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol, or the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance which may render a person incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.
The term “driving” means operating a motor vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motor vehicle” also has a legal definition. Basically, it’s a device that can move people or things on a road or highway. Some things, like horse-drawn carriages, legally are not counted as motor vehicles.
INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES – DRUGS
State statutes list drugs that are considered “intoxicating substances.” Some of those include marijuana, methadone, magic mushrooms, opiates, and LSD. If none of those items listed are what the state believes to be an intoxicating substance, a judge will instruct the jury with the following: “You are instructed that an intoxicating substance is any substance, other than alcohol, which is capable of being ingested, inhaled, injected, absorbed into the human body and is capable of adversely affecting (the central nervous system), vision, hearing, (any sensory, motor functions).” Spray paint is an example of this definition.
First offense (misdemeanor): 10 days to one year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine.
Second offense (felony): If you are convicted for a second time within 10 years of the completion of your sentence for the first offense is the penalty is one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Two felony offenses: one to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Anyone guilty of these offenses may be required to do certain things such as:
• Victim’s Impact Panel. This is a community-based meeting for victims/witnesses to describe the experiences they or loved ones have endured due to the actions of drunken drivers.
• Complete a Drug and Alcohol Assessment and follow the recommendations of that assessment.
Drug or alcohol treatment.
• Have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. This requires the driver to blow into the mouthpiece of the device before starting the vehicle.
• Community service. Unpaid work an offender must do.
DRIVER’S LICENSE CONSEQUENCES
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is the agency that issues and revokes driver’s licenses. State law says that the Department of Public Safety may revoke the driving privilege of any person convicted in state or municipal court of driving under the influence of drugs. The conviction must be a final conviction.
A driver’s license is a valuable asset. We need it to legally drive to the store, to work, and for general transportation. So, if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence or other crime, call Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale at the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.
CALL THE CALE LAW OFFICE
Driving under the influence of drugs charges can be beaten, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. Cale Law Office is dedicated to the practice of criminal defense. Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive representation. This is done while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or is looking for an attorney for an appeal, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.