Georgia prepared to deal with DUI's if state legalizes marijuana
MACON, Ga. -- Driving under the influence is a charge more frequently associated with alcohol, but the standards can be different when it comes to marijuana.
Local law enforcement has a standard when it comes to smoking marijuana and driving.
"There's no set level for Georgia in marijuana, so when you do a blood test, because marijuana is always done through a blood test to find the presence of marijuana or the level, that positive test for marijuana that shows it is in the bloodstream then has to be coupled with evidence of less safe driving," said Captain Brad Wolfe with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.
It's an issue that's become somewhat tricky for law enforcement, since there's no "limit" for that DUI nationwide.
"Everything is based on probable cause and if that officer can show that he had probable cause, prove to a judge that they had probable cause to believe this person was impaired by this substance, then generally it's going to be okay for the officer," Wolfe said.
Even though there's no exact limit, an officer can use probable cause to charge someone with that DUI for marijuana, just like for alcohol.
"Same sobriety test you would use for alcohol you use for marijuana, and there will be some signs, symptoms, clues that will show up in that field sobriety test," Wolfe said.
If Georgia legalizes marijuana, the Bibb County Sheriff's office will be ready to enforce safe driving.
"We'll be prepared when the time comes. Right now we're not really worried about it, we just kind of have it in the back of our minds that right now, this is where we're headed, but we'll be prepared for it then," Wolfe said.
Dr. Ozita Cooper with Coliseum Medical Centers said there are some dangers that come along with driving after smoking marijuana.
"It could be more likely that you'll have an accident which would not be in the patient or the person or anyone else in the road's best interest," said Cooper.
Drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana who are pulled over and refuse to take a blood test will be arrested, Wolfe said.