Back in the day cars came standard with cigarette lighters in them. Nowadays not so much. But that hasn't stopped people from smoking in their cars. And with DC and Virginia relaxing criminal penalties for weed, people are smoking marijuana in their cars.
Yeah, don't roll up in your car. Not if you're driving. Not if you're chillin in the parking lot waiting to get in the club. And while we understand, the law is not nearly as sympathetic on the average commuter as we are because driving while under the influence of drugs is both dangerous and a crime.
So what happens when a police officer pulls you over and smells that dank in your car? Yeah we said it. DANK. Maybe you call it Mary Jane or the Real Sticky Icky. Snoop Dogg Says it Best!
Is smelling marijuana probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs ("DUI-D")?
In a recent case in Maryland the Court said that the smell of marijuana alone wasn't enough for probable cause to arrest. If you want to put on your self help lawyer hat and read the opinion yourself, here you go: https://www.courts.state.md.us/data/opinions/coa/2020/44a19.pdf
But what about the smell of marijuana in your car in DC or Virginia? We all know that the smell of marijuana lingers. Maybe you - or (ahem!) your friends - smoked it a week ago and the scent is still in the car. Can the police arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs based on smell?Of course the answer is maybe, but even if they arrest you that's not the end of the story.
The best DUI defenses might include proof that: there's no THC in your system, or challenging the prosecution's ability to show that whatever THC was allegedly in your system was not sufficient to cause impairment. There's science out there that talks about how long marijuana lasts in the body. We won't bore you with the details here, but suffice it to say that THC can last in your body from three days to three months. Just because its in you, that doesn't mean you were under the influence.