Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Ohio

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Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Ohio. This article explains the penalties imposed for DUI violations, but other laws regarding marijuana possession may also apply to drivers and passengers.

For information about how Ohio treats marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture, see Ohio Marijuana Laws.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of substances. When alcohol is involved, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent of the driver's blood, by volume, will conclusively establish that the driver is under the influence (if the level is less, the prosecutor can still point to the driver's actions to prove that he was under the influence).

When marijuana is involved, a level of 2 nanograms per milliliter of the driver's blood, by volume (10 n/ml in the urine), or 50 n/ml of metabolites in the blood (35 n/ml in the urine), will conclusively establish that the driver is under the influence. The prosecutor will not need to present proof of impairment in the driver’s faculties. However, absent the requisite marijuana blood or urine concentration levels, the prosecutor may still point to the driver’s actions to show that the driver was under the influence. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4511.19.)

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Penalties vary according to whether the offense is a first of subsequent conviction. The judge may also order participation in a drug or alcohol abuse education and treatment program, and vehicle impoundment or forfeiture.

  • First convictions. A defendant will face a fine of between $375 and $1,075, at least three days (and up to six months) in jail, or both; and between six months and three years of license suspension.
  • Second conviction within six years. A defendant will face a fine of between $525 and $1,625, at least ten days (and up to six months) in jail, or both; and between one and five years of license suspension.
  • Third conviction within six years. A defendant will face a fine of between $850 and $2,750, at least 30 days (and up to one year) in jail, or both; and between two and ten years of license suspension.
  • Fourth and fifth convictions. A defendant will face a fine of between $1,350 and $10,500, at least 60 days in jail (and up to five years in prison), or both; and between three years and permanent license suspension.
  • Sixth and subsequent convictions. A defendant will face a fine of between $1,350 and $10,500, at least 120 days in jail (and up to five years in prison), or both; and possible permanent license suspension.

An Important Note on Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related driving offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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