Drivers in Virginia can face harsh penalties if they are caught driving under the influence of cannabis. The difficulty for the police is actually determining which drivers are impaired. While it is much easier to make an arrest on the spot for drunk driving, there are numerous things that make stops for impaired driving when marijuana is involved.
Police do not currently have an equivalent of a breathalyzer test to administer for cannabis usage. They can give a blood test but not every officer has the capacity to do that when they make a traffic spot. Plus, results for this test take some time to come back, keeping officers from making an immediate arrest. An officer can arrest someone who appears under the influence, but it is not always apparent.
With that is mind, a new test is under development that can detect whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis by using their saliva. The officer would be ab;e to give the test and have a result on the spot that can help them decide whether to arrest the driver. The problem, however, is that there is no legal standard to determine whether a driver is impaired based on the amount of cannabis that is in their system. Thus, it is difficult to actually reach a conclusion of whether the driver is impaired.
Those who have been arrested for driving while under the influence of cannabis or a DUI should seek the services of a DUI attorney who may be able to help them navigate the legal system. Possible penalties for these offenses can be steep but there may be some leniency for a first-time offender. A DUI attorney might help their client negotiate a plea agreement that could help them bring the matter to a conclusion.