The legalization of marijuana in several states is generating some interesting research and statistics. Many in law enforcement believe that driving under the influence of marijuana – and the accidents and injuries associated with it – will increase as states soften marijuana laws. Are marijuana-related DUI crimes really on the rise? In Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, if the police charge you with a marijuana-related DWI, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible. Medical marijuana is legal in California, but smoking and driving can still put you in jail anywhere in the state.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently conducted a 3-year investigation of marijuana’s effects on drivers. Using an advanced driving simulator, researchers gave participants a placebo or a concentration of marijuana. Participants were then asked to “drive” while being observed at the simulator. Participants who were high on marijuana exhibited hardly any change at all to their driving ability. Nevertheless, marijuana detection tests are on the market and are being purchased by law enforcement agencies. In California, police test for marijuana impairment using blood examinations.

Those charged with DUI-marijuana or any other DWI charge in Orange County must have legal representation. Any DUI conviction leads to severe personal repercussions, so it’s imperative for defendants to know their legal rights and options. Even for a first DWI conviction, you could potentially be sentenced to a year in jail, costly fees and fines, a 12-week DUI class, and a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. California courts are tough on first-offense, marijuana-related DWI cases, so if you face this charge, don’t assume that you’ll get off easy because it’s a first offense. A good DUI lawyer can assess your case and fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you face the charge, protect your rights and your future. Contact an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney as quickly as possible.