Although the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Nevada, driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana is still a criminal act and is treated with the same level of severity as a DUI of alcohol. In Nevada, a driver can be charged with DUI marijuana if they are found to have as little as:
2 nanograms per milliliter of Marijuna (delta-9-tetrahydracannabinol) in their blood OR
5 nanograms per milliliter of Marijuna metabolote (11-OH-tetrahydrocannabinol).
How is a Person’s THC Level Determined?
Much like alcohol, blood draw testing is used to determine a driver’s THC levels. However, DUI of marijuana are typically very difficult for a prosector to prove. A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Hiring a DUI attorney should not even be a question as a DUI conviction will remain on your record for at least seven (7) years before you can explore having it sealed.
Under Nevada law NRS 484C.110 a person can be charged with DUI alcohol in one of two situations.
(1) If that person is found to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 (BAC) or more in his/her blood or breath within 2 hours of driving and or being in actual physical control; or
(2) If that person is found to be under the influence of alcohol to a degree which renders them incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
How is the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tested?
In Clark County, blood alcohol (BAC) testing typically occurs one of two ways:
1) Breath Test Using the Intoxilyzer 8000; or
2) Blood Draw performed by a medical professional
Nevada law NRS 484C.110(3) makes it illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle with an amount of any of the following prohibited substances found in the blood or urine that is equal to or greater than:
Urine Nanograms / Blood Nanograms
(a) Amphetamine: 500 / 100
(b) Cocaine: 150 / 50
(c) Cocaine Metabolite: 150 / 50
(d) Heroin: 2,000 / 50
(e) Heroin Metabolite:
a. Morphine 10 10
b. 6-monoacetyl morphine 10 10
(f) LSD: 25 / 10
(g) Methamphetamine: 500 / 100
(h) PCP: 25 / 10
Unlike alcohol, marijuana (THC), and the prohibited substances noted above, Nevada law does not prescribe threshold nanogram amounts for prescription drugs such as Xanax, sleeping medication, SOMA, and muscle relaxers.
However, prosecutors will typically attempt to prosecute prescription drug DUIs under the catch-all provision of NRS 484C.110(2)(c) which makes it illegal to “inhale, ingest, applies or otherwise use any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle.”
How are prescription drugs tested for?
Much like alcohol and marijuana (THC), prescription drugs will be tested for using a blood draw test.
How can the court prove I was under the influence of a prescription drug?
A prosecutor will have to show that the prescription drug in the blood stream rendered the driver incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
To do this, a toxicologist may be necessary to offer expert testimony that the amount of prescription drug found in the blood stream was found to be at a higher level than considered “therapeutic”. Also, that expert toxicologist may need to testify to the level of impairment expected with that level of prescription drugs in the blood stream.