Marijuana, Driving Under the Influence
This article is not intended as advice for your specific matter. Rather, it is a general article about Nevada law. If you have questions about your particular case, please call Mueller, Hinds and Associates, Chtd. immediately at (702) 940-1234. This information is valid as of July 25, 2017.
What is Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Nevada?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a misnomer in Nevada because the crime does not necessarily and literally involve driving. A person does not have to be driving or even impaired to be convicted of DUI. Courts have held that “actual physical control,” the necessary element to prove DUI, can be proven even when the driver is asleep as long as there are some signs he was driving under the influence or is in control of the vehicle.
For information about DUI in general and defenses to the charge, see our article here. This article focuses on DUI Marijuana.
WHAT IS DUI MARIJUANA EXACTLY?
Subsection 2 of section 484C.110 of the NRS makes it illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle who is under the influence of a controlled substance, intoxicating liquor, or mix of either or has ingested any chemical that renders them incapable of safely driving. That is a general catch-all for DUI and drugs, but the statute gets more specific at subsection 3 of section 484C.110 of the NRS.
The statute spells out the specific amounts in blood or urine of a driver that create criminal liability, and for marijuana, the levels are exceedingly low: 10 nanograms per milliliter for marijuana and 15 for a marijuana metabolite in urine, or 2 nanograms per milliliter for marijuana and 5 for a marijuana metabolite in blood. What that means is that if you smoke or ingest marijuana, you could be charged with DUI Marijuana weeks after your last use.
HOW LONG WILL MARIJUANA STAY IN MY SYSTEM?
Good information on how long the metabolite will stay in your system is hard to find, but it appears to depend on a number of factors including the amount of usage, length of usage, the fat content of the user and that user’s individual habits and metabolism. According to Ryan Vandrey, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University, “there is no way of predicting or knowing how long someone would test positive with any kind of certainty.”
According to drugabuse.gov, “Organs in the body have fatty tissues that quickly absorb the THC in marijuana. General standard urine tests can detect traces of THC several days after use. In heavy marijuana users, however, urine tests can sometimes detect THC traces for weeks after use stops.” Leafly.com has some useful information on this question too, but the tolerance levels appear to be generally higher than those used in DUI prosecutions. According to one user on drugs.com, if you smoke regularly then up to 45 days and constantly then 90 days for a urine test, but for blood, the metabolite can last in your system up to 6 months.
Have you or a loved one been accused of DUI Marijuana? Call us at Mueller Hinds & Associates for a free consultation. Trust us with your case and let us fight for you!