Medical marijuana usage is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and while current proposals for changes to recreational drug usage in Ohio have been submitted, for the time being, the laws on medical marijuana are strictly enforced. Those with medical marijuana licenses understand the importance of responsible usage, especially when operating machinery or motor vehicles. However, what can be tricky is being pulled over by the police for a suspected OVI charge and testing positive for THC despite not even smoking before driving. Here is what you need to know about dealing with an OVI charge.
Understanding An OVI
An OVI charge stands for operating a vehicle under the influence and covers the influence of marijuana. Current systems allow officers to conduct field sobriety tests to determine if an individual is under the influence while operating a vehicle. Unlike alcohol use, testing for THC via field sobriety tests is not necessarily conclusive.
Currently, Ohio state police have the training to determine whether an individual is under the influence of drugs, but there is an issue with this training. Even with marijuana usage, its effects on an individual can vary significantly from person to person. If the police suspect that you are under the influence of marijuana while driving, they can arrest you for further testing due to a failed sobriety test.
The Issue With Marijuana Testing
When discussing THC testing, the issue is not necessarily the accuracy of the tests but more the context surrounding the results. With blood-alcohol tests, we know that alcohol in the body tends to metabolize at a specific rate, and typically this means alcohol can leave the body after a few hours. While our understanding of alcohol makes it easy to administer breathalyzer tests, the same logic cannot be applied to THC tests.
The issue with requiring a THC test in OVI charge is that THC metabolizes at different rates for individuals, and THC can stay within blood or urine for days, if not weeks. This can lead to cases in which a person may very well not have consumed marijuana before driving; however, because they consumed marijuana days prior, a blood test may be flagged as positive for THC. These circumstances can carry hefty penalties for individuals, such as license suspension and fines.
What To Do When Facing An OVI Charge
When you are potentially facing charges for OVI, call a lawyer immediately. Even if you are legally allowed to consume marijuana due to a medical condition, this will not excuse you from potential OVI charges, and the police are well aware of this. Police tests on determining what they think are signs of OVI are flawed, and you should not face penalties for faulty tests.
If you or someone you know needs help with fighting an OVI charge, the attorneys at The Meranda Law Firm LTD specialize in these cases. Call (614) 707-4239 today for a consultation