Beware your trip to Washington or Colorado to ride the magic bus

Filed under: DUI by Steven F. Fairlie @ November 8, 2012

Many Pennslyvania residents are dreaming of trips to Washington or Colorado where they can now smoke legal marijuana in peace, without fear of state law (federal enforcement may still be an issue). What they don’t realize is that the dream is fraught with peril, as they are at great risk of arrest upon returning home. Imagine this scenario. Cheech travels by plane to Washington where he lights up all day long for five days straight. He then returns to Pennsylvania via a commercial flight and happily grabs his car out of the nearby longterm parking lot at Philadelphia Airport. He drives home and sleeps for a day, awakening feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to face his work day. He is a law abiding citizen, so he did not bring any souveniers home and did not smoke any marihuana (weed, ganga, K2) in Pennsylvania, but he did have a quick drink before he went to bed. He drives to work but unfortunately is rear-ended by a reckless driver while stopped at a red light along the way. A police officer responds and smells a slight odor of alcohol, so he requests a blood test. It is now 40 hours since Cheech smoked any weed, but the results come back showing 1 nanogram/mililiter of THC in his blood. Not a problem, right? Wrong. Cheech may very well go to jail for DUI.

The Pennsylvania DUI law prohibits driving when you have 1 ng/ml of THC in your blood, regardless of the fact that such a low level does nothing to impair driving. The same principle holds true for many other controlled substances. The upshot is if you smoke marihuana you are at great risk of getting a Pennsylvania drug-related DUI for 2-7 days after you smoke. No one can tell you for sure how long the THC will stay in your blood, and it could even stay much longer than 7 days. So if you plan to take a recreational trip to Washington or Colorado have a high time, but you’d better make alternative driving arrangements upon your return. No one can afford a DUI, so be careful not to risk it. Feel free to contact us directly should you have any follow up questions, or by all means leave us a comment below.

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