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Can you get a DUI for using marijuana?

When it comes to DUIs, most people would associate them with drunk driving. The nature of the charge, however, is one of driving while under the influence. This can be drink or drugs, including marijuana.

If you get pulled over in South Dakota for driving impaired and you’re suspected of using marijuana, what should you expect?

Drug driving is treated the same as drunk driving

In South Dakota, a person is considered to have committed a DUI when they have operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance that’s not been prescribed by a medical professional. This will then have rendered that person incapable of driving safely.

What will prosecutors need to show in order to convict you?

Unlike alcohol, there’s no blood alcohol content (BAC) level equivalent for marijuana use. It’ll therefore come down to showing that your driving was impaired as a result of the use of drugs.

Police officers and then, in turn, the prosecution will be looking to rely on your behavior in order to make a DUI for marijuana use stick. The kind of actions they will be looking for include:

  • Erratic or reckless driving. Examples of this might include speeding or making unsafe maneuvers.
  • Smelling marijuana on you, or in your car, when you’re pulled over.
  • A blood or urine sample which shows evidence of marijuana in your system

If you’re found guilty of DUI, the penalties the court can impose are the same regardless of whether you had alcohol, marijuana or another controlled substance in your system.

As the consequences are serious, it’s important to act fast in getting some legal help. This gives you the best opportunity to challenge the case against you and put forward a defense.