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DUI case problem

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Whoops2u

Well-known member
#16
Feeling different than normal is not impairment.

From the New York State Mental Hygiene Law:

1. "Intoxicated or impaired person" means a person whose mental or physical functioning is substantially impaired as a result of the presence of alcohol and/or substances in his or her body.

If you want to claim a driver who admits to not feeling normal to a police officer has not made an admission that is going to be used against him in court, I'll have to disagree. From the way you are arguing, it seems the later.
Yes, of course the statement may be used in court - for what exactly I don't know. Simply saying "I feel different" is hardly a sign of impairment.
Show me the study that scientifically links bloodshot and watery eyes with impairment. Yet, that is going to be in most any testimony of the officer in court on a DUI.

The whole point of all the signs we look at and tests we run is because we cannot see into a person's head to tell if they are impaired. Different in a lesser way because of drugs. When we have a person admitting they are different because of drugs, we only have one thing left to show--lesser. If you can't see how a person's admission helps so we don't have to rely on all the magic stand on one leg guesstimates to prove up some things we need to in court, I can't help you. I suspect it is simply being bored and trying to make an argument.
 


#17
Show me the study that scientifically links bloodshot and watery eyes with impairment. Yet, that is going to be in most any testimony of the officer in court on a DUI.
Because, in most instances of at least alcohol impairment, you are going to see bloodshot and watery eyes! You will also detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from their person. Bloodshot and watery eyes are not sole indicators of impairment, but they are mong the objective signs and symptoms that indicate one may well be impaired.
 
#18
If how the motorist "feels" is different from normal and is relayed to the officer, is that something he can articulate?
One of the standard questions asked during the FSTs is what substance you've consumed, followed up with one asking how that makes you feel.

DUI cases are built on a number of small observations - even statements. A statement, alone, is not sufficient to show impairment in much the same way that red and watery eyes, and the odor of marijuana, might not be "proof" of impairment. All these can be indicators to show the possibility of impairment and to justify further examination (i.e. FSTs, or at least having the subject exit the car and walk towards you).

As you mentioned, one problem with legalized marijuana is that there is per se level of metabolites in the system that proves impairment,. Yet. With the rise of drugged driving arrests in states such as CO, there is a race to get the first field breath test for marijuana into service and into the courts. Once a device is approved and meets Kelly-Frye, then one can hopefully be set into circulation. Until then, far too many marijuana impairment arrests slip through the cracks.
 
#19
One of the standard questions asked during the FSTs is what substance you've consumed, followed up with one asking how that makes you feel.

DUI cases are built on a number of small observations - even statements. A statement, alone, is not sufficient to show impairment in much the same way that red and watery eyes, and the odor of marijuana, might not be "proof" of impairment. All these can be indicators to show the possibility of impairment and to justify further examination (i.e. FSTs, or at least having the subject exit the car and walk towards you).
(y)

As you mentioned, one problem with legalized marijuana is that there is per se level of metabolites in the system that proves impairment,. Yet. With the rise of drugged driving arrests in states such as CO, there is a race to get the first field breath test for marijuana into service and into the courts. Once a device is approved and meets Kelly-Frye, then one can hopefully be set into circulation. Until then, far too many marijuana impairment arrests slip through the cracks.
(I assume you meant there is [no] per se level of metabolites that proves impairment.)

The actual problem is that it increasingly seems there might not be a per se level that proves impairment. Right now, the best I'm seeing is that THC levels drop rapidly so that anyone above a certain level in the blood/breath had to have used recently.
 
#20
(I assume you meant there is [no] per se level of metabolites that proves impairment.)
Yes, that is correct.

The actual problem is that it increasingly seems there might not be a per se level that proves impairment. Right now, the best I'm seeing is that THC levels drop rapidly so that anyone above a certain level in the blood/breath had to have used recently.
That does not mean that some other test could not be developed to show such impairment. With drug DUI arrests on a sharp rise, more research is likely to be done in the area. It has not been a priority for years since alcohol was the primary culprit and marijuana, being largely a companion drug, was dwarfed by alcohol and the harder drugs (which are often considered impairing if simply under the influence). As such there has generally been no need to test for marijuana even when some studies showed that a significantly high percentage of alcohol or other drug impaired drivers also had marijuana in their system. With legalization and increased public marijuana use, something has to be done.
 

Whoops2u

Well-known member
#22
With legalization and increased public marijuana use, something has to be done.
It makes perfect sense to me that no one on pot is a better driver--even if they think they are. It also seems reasonable to think being under the influence of pot diminishes their ability to drive safely.

Why can't we get clear evidence of that?

There's a statistical study out there much like the Puerto Rico death from hurricane study talked about in the news recently that compares previous deaths to current deaths for a time period that seems to show more involved in fatal accidents have THC/metabolite in their blood after legalization. However, studies that try to assess culpability, don't seem to find drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes.

We have all kinds of studies that will show some detriment in skills and abilities that are necessary to good driving from cannabis usage related to dose. We have simulator studies that show no such relationship. Some speculate it is because cannabis affected users compensate for the impairments. (Like the Cheech and Chong joke about driving slowly when high.) When we try to get the statistics from real world driving, nothing really stands out in proving anything.

That's not to say we won't find a direct connection to cannabis usage and driving ability. Again to me, it is unreasonable to think such a relationship does not exist. But, the relationship is ephemeral at this time with the closer you look, the less you see. Is cannabis a problem in the safety of our roads? Almost assuredly. At this time, we don't have evidence it is a problem on par to alcohol and driving demanding something having to be done. It is a far more subtle relationship that is going to be complex to resolve because it remains in the body far longer then it affects one's driving.
 
#25
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