Medical Marijuana and Driving: The Possible Consequences

Stock photo of a man smoking marijuana in a vehicle driving a car under the influence of cannabis.

In Florida, it is legal to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. However, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana can impair an individual’s ability to drive, and these effects can be dangerous—not just for the driver, but for everyone on the road. Let’s take a closer look at why driving under the influence of marijuana is so dangerous and what the consequences are for those who are caught doing it.

What are the Dangers of Driving High?

Marijuana can have a number of different effects on an individual. These outcomes can vary depending on how much marijuana was consumed, how long ago it was consumed, and the method of consumption (smoking, eating, etc.). Some of the most common effects of marijuana include:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Slow reaction time
  • Problems with coordination and balance
  • Increased anxiety or paranoia
  • Short-term memory loss

All of these effects can make it difficult for a person to drive safely. For example, impaired judgment can lead to poor decision-making while driving, such as speeding or tailgating. Slow reaction time can make it difficult to brake in time if cut off or if there’s an animal on the road. And problems with coordination and balance can make it difficult to control the car, especially at high speeds.

What Happens When Pulled Over for Driving High?

If an individual is pulled over for driving high in Florida, they will face standard DUI charges. These vary depending on the number of offenses the driver has previously incurred. Regardless, if someone is charged with a marijuana DUI the charges include:

  • Jail time: A driver could face jail time anywhere from six months to five years in prison. This varies depending on the number of offenses the individual has.
  • License suspension: The driver will also have their licenses suspended for a specific amount of time, ranging anywhere from 180 days to permanent revocation.
  • Fines: The amount a driver pays could be $500 if a first-time offense, but increases with additional charges. For example, a fourth offense of marijuana DUI results in up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Community service: An individual charged with a marijuana DUI could also face up to 50 hours of community service.

Who Can Help When Charged With Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana?

Facing a marijuana DUI charge is overwhelming and it is paramount to have an experienced attorney to help navigate the case. As mentioned above, the consequences of driving while high are serious and can leave a lasting impact. Ali & Blankner is prepared to tackle these cases, contact us if you need assistance.

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