FAQ - Marijuana DUI/OVI in Columbus & Central Ohio
A: There are four ways a driver can be charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) based on marijuanA:
- Under the Influence. The prosecution must prove the driver operated a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or a marijuana metabolite. ‘Under the influence’ generally means the marijuana or metabolite impaired the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle.
- Prohibited Level of Marijuana. The prosecution must prove the driver had a prohibited concentration of marijuana in the person’s system while operating a vehicle. The prohibited levels are two nanograms per milliliter of blood and ten nanograms per milliliter of urine. This offense is not charged because it is impossible to have marijuana in one’s blood or urine, as the marijuana is processed by the body before it reaches the blood and urine.
- Prohibited Level of Marijuana Metabolite. The prosecution must prove the driver had a prohibited concentration of marijuana metabolite in the person’s system while operating a vehicle. The prohibited levels are 50 nanograms per milliliter of blood and 35 nanograms per milliliter of urine.
- Under the Influence and Prohibited Level of Marijuana Metabolite. The prosecution must prove the driver was under the influence and had a prohibited concentration of marijuana metabolite. The prohibited concentrations are five nanograms per milliliter of blood and 15 nanograms per milliliter of urine.
A: Sentencing for a marijuana-based OVI is practically the same as sentencing for alcohol-based marijuana. The only significant difference is alcohol-based marijuana has additional penalties for a ‘high test’ (.170 or higher), and there is no ‘high test’ marijuana OVI. For information on the potential sentencing for OVI charges, please see the ‘OVI/DUI Penalties’ section of this website.Q: What Testing Is Conducted for Marijuana OVI in Ohio?
A: At the roadside, officers administer field sobriety tests to help the officers determine whether a person should be arrested for OVI. If a person is arrested for an OVI based on suspected marijuana use, an officer may conduct a drug recognition evaluation at the police station.
The driver will then be asked to submit a urine or blood sample for testing. The blood or urine sample is tested by a hospital or crime laboratory to determine the level of marijuana metabolite (and other drugs) in the sample. If the testing is conducted by a hospital, the prosecution must produce an expert witness to correlate the marijuana metabolite level with being under the influence. If the testing is done by a crime lab, the prosecution must prove the testing complied with regulations of the Ohio Department of Health.Q: Can a Person With a Medical Marijuana Card Be Charged With OVI in Ohio?
A: A driver with a medical marijuana card can be charged with all of the four marijuana OVI charges in Ohio. Although it is legal in Ohio for that driver to consume marijuana, it is still illegal for that driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana and/or with a prohibited level of marijuana metabolite in the driver’s system (just like it is legal for someone 21 or over to consume alcohol, but it is illegal for them to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or with a prohibited level of alcohol in their system).Attorneys For Marijuana DUI / OVI in Columbus and Central Ohio
The Dominy Law Firm attorneys regularly represent clients charged with OVI based on allegations involving marijuana. If you have been charged with Marijuana OVI, our firm can help. If you would like additional information about our law firm, please see the About Us and Attorneys pages on this website. If you would like to schedule a free phone consultation to discuss representation for your Marijuana OVI, please submit a CONTACT FORM or call us at 614-717-1177.