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Marijuana OWI/DUI Test

By Andrew Mishlove on February 18, 2020


Handcuffed and under arrestThough a number of states have legalized pot use, Wisconsin still has strict laws against possession and use of cannabis for non-medical means. During traffic stops, this can lead to a number of issues with regard to marijuana OWI/DUI arrests. That’s why the attorneys of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC are here to help.

Below, the team at our law firm would like to consider testing for marijuana OWI during an arrest. Just going over the process should give you an idea of the various problems that may arise, and why it’s so important to have a skilled lawyer on your side.

Initial Signs of Marijuana Use That Officers Check

When a motorist drives erratically, an officer may pull that driver over to check for alcohol use or the use of other controlled substances. During that initial check on the motorists, officers will typically look for the following signs of pot use:

  • Red eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with coordination
  • Tongue discoloration

What Tests Are Performed for Marijuana OWI Stops?

If the above noted signs are present, an officer may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle to check for intoxication. Typically that means performing a standard field sobriety test.

Field sobriety tests often involve checking if the driver’s eyes can follow an object moving from side to side. Officers may also check a driver’s ability to walk in a straight line and turn, and to stand on one leg with reasonable balance.

Why Is a Breathalyzer Test Also Administered?

In addition to a field sobriety test, an officer may also administer a breathalyzer test. While a breath test will not be able to detect Delta-9 THC in a person’s system, it can pick up signs of alcohol intoxication. Since the police officer is unsure what substance or substances a driver has used, the breathalyzer is just another way to address potential causes of unsafe driving.

Blood Test to Detect THC

Upon arrest and processing, a blood sample is taken to detect Delta-9 THC in the driver’s system. This will confirm if the driver was intoxicated on marijuana while operating a motor vehicle.

Is There a Legal Limit for Marijuana in a Driver’s System

While drunk driving charges rely on the .08 legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), there is no such legal limit for marijuana use in Wisconsin. The law as written notes that any detectable amount of a “restricted controlled substance” in someone’s blood is a crime.

In other words, if the blood test comes back with even just detectable traces of THC in your system, that is considered an unacceptable amount.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

As you see from the tests above, there are many flaws in assessing cannabis use during a traffic stop. The tests prior to a blood test are subjective, and drivers may fail these sobriety checks due to stress and other factors.

Our attorneys can go over the circumstances of your case and help get charges dropped or reduced. Any irregularities or issues during the traffic stop and testing are worth contesting, and we will be here to help.

Learn More About OWI Charges

If you live in Wisconsin and want more information about your legal options following a marijuana use charge, be sure to contact our skilled team of OWI attorneys. You can reach the lawyers of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC at our Milwaukee location at (414) 206-6919, our Oshkosh location at (920) 306-8500, our West Bend location at (262) 239-4828, and our Waukesha location at (262) 207-4527.

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