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Understanding Indiana’s laws on marijuana and driving

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Marijuana use impacts people across Indiana differently based on how often, if ever, they use it. This is one of the reasons behind an Indiana law change that may give you or others placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated a potential new means of defense.

According to WSBT, THC metabolites, which are present in marijuana, remain in different users’ bodies for different lengths of time. In some cases, these metabolites may remain active in a marijuana user’s system for several weeks after that individual’s last time using.

The old law

Until recently, if you found yourself involved in a serious Indiana car wreck through no fault of your own, you could face charges if the blood draw the state mandates after all such crashes revealed any marijuana in your system. This means you could face drug-related OWI charges even if you did not contribute to the wreck or smoke marijuana within the last several weeks.

The new law

The law change now requires there to be a certain amount – or a nanogram or more – of marijuana in your blood following a serious crash for you to receive a conviction for OWI. Having a lesser amount in your bloodstream should not result in OWI charges. The thought process behind the change is that it gives authorities a better sense of whether you were truly driving impaired at the time the incident occurred.

OWI is a serious offense that has the potential to lead to serious penalties. Some of these penalties might include time behind bars, steep fines, driver’s license revocations and probation obligations, among others.