When you think of “driving under the influence” or DUI, you may assume it applies only to drinking alcohol. Often, when you hear people talk about a DUI, they are talking about someone driving home after being at the bar.
Maryland, like many other states, has a broader definition of influence. In addition to alcohol, many other substances can lead to a DUI, including marijuana.
Here’s what you should know about driving under the influence of marijuana in Maryland.
Testing for marijuana
Unlike alcohol, there is no breathalyzer test for marijuana. While law enforcement can order a blood test, it can be challenging to determine whether you are still under the influence of marijuana or if it is simply still in your bloodstream since you can test positive for use long after the effects have worn off.
Maryland officers will rely on a Drug Recognition Expert to determine through both a blood test and an examination whether you are under the influence of marijuana. Often, their analysis will include the same field sobriety tests officers use to determine drunk driving.
Are the consequences the same?
Maryland takes DUI offenses seriously. Here, the consequences for a DUI are the same regardless of the substance. The challenge is that some substances, like marijuana, do not have a firm standard for what amount is influential to your ability to drive.
Substances other than marijuana
Driving under the influence may make you think about alcohol, but it covers a wide range of substances. In addition to alcohol and marijuana, it can include any controlled substance, even if you have a prescription.
Before you get behind the wheel, it is crucial to understand how the substances and medications you consume could impact your ability to drive safely.