Michigan joined the growing number of states in 2018 that legalized recreational marijuana use, but drivers still can face marijuana-related charges. As with alcohol consumption, drivers with marijuana can be charged for driving under the influence, transporting marijuana, possessing large amounts on their person or doing so with children in the vehicle.
Driving under the influence
As with alcohol, drivers cannot operate any motor vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, motorboat, ATV, snowmobile, etc.) while under the influence of marijuana. They also cannot consume marijuana in the privacy of their motor vehicle if they are operating, navigating or being in physical control while on a public way.
Officers will pull over those driving erratically and have drivers perform a field sobriety test if they deem it necessary. Depending upon the results, the officer may request a blood test under the implied consent law when driving. Penalties may include a $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, six points on their driver’s record and possibly other far-reaching consequences. The severity of these penalties will increase if minors are present in the vehicle.
There are also laws regarding the transportation of marijuana:
- The driver cannot transport more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in their vehicle.
- The driver is limited to 15 grams in the concentrated form.
- Despite cannabis being legal in Canada, drivers cannot transport marijuana across the border.
Disputing the charges may be useful
Legalization has changed how many people regard marijuana, but Michiganders can still face charges. It is often in their best interests to fight driving under the influence and other charges to reduce potential fines and penalties. Doing so may also protect professional licensing, insurance rates and one’s ability to seek new or better employment.