DUI for Driving While High

no marijuana signOn January 1st, Colorado became the first state to allow the legal sale and use of recreational marijuana. Washington is expected to follow suit in the next few months. While marijuana use is not legal in California, it has been somewhat decriminalized however being caught with even a small amount can still carry fines. Additionally, thousands of Californians are able to purchase and smoke marijuana legally for medical purposes.

 As marijuana becomes increasingly legal and easy to acquire, it is important to remember that a DUI for driving while high is treated the same by insurance companies as a DUI for driving while inebriated.  

 Unfortunately, due to the varying legality of marijuana across the US, each state has different laws and methods for measuring THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in a driver’s system. In California, an individual can be charged with a DUI if the state can prove that marijuana impaired their driving skills. In order to help the state’s case, California has just introduced a new method for testing individuals for the presence of illegal drugs. The Los Angeles Police Department plans to begin administering oral swabs that test for a variety of drugs, including marijuana. These will help the police determine if an individual was impaired by marijuana.

 It is important to remember that, from an insurance standpoint, a DUI is a DUI. It does not matter if you are a medical marijuana user, a recreational user or had too much to drink.    If you receive a DUI for driving under the influence you can expect much higher premiums from your insurance company.

 If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 310-828-9662.

The information provided in our blogs are very brief overviews that do not provide complete descriptions of any coverage described nor do they list all of the important factors one should evaluate before deciding on a policy. Please speak to your broker at TMIB about your specific insurance needs and for more detailed information about types of coverage.