Driving under the influence of marijuana — or any other controlled substance — is illegal even if recreational pot use is now okay in Massachusetts. However, while protocols for measuring the blood alcohol content is well establish through a variety of tests in the field and at the station, this is not the case for marijuana.
Law enforcement still does not have standardized the testing for cannabis or a level of impairment. Nor can it, according to the state’s Supreme Court, use subjective tests in the field or devices for accurately determining a level of impairment.
They will still pull you over
Even though they cannot conduct a test, law enforcement will still pull drivers over if they display any of the usual types of bad driving behavior:
- Driving erratically
- Swerving in and out of a lane
- Straddling lanes
- Driving particularly slowly or speeding
Law enforcement training
There are currently two trainings for identifying drug-impaired drivers. One is two-day course called ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement). The other is a two-week course called DRE (Drug Recognition Expert Program) — here officers learn to recognize drivers under the influence and how to tell the difference between those with mental disorders from those under the influence.
An attorney can help
Law enforcement in Massachusetts has come up with a few protocols for addressing OUI or DUI, and they can still simply relate the behavior they saw when a driver was pulled over that led to an arrest. However, because there is no “implied consent” involving drugs here, there are no laws that force drivers to take a sobriety test.
Nevertheless, any time a driver is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving or driving under the influence, it is important to contact an attorney who can provide experienced guidance. They can help ensure that a driver’s rights are fully protected under the law, particularly when it comes to subjective observations from law enforcement.