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Michigan Supreme Court Upholds 'Zero Tolerance' Per Se DUID Law

LdyLunatic

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Traverse City, MI, USA
"It is irrelevant that a person who is no longer 'under the influence' of marijuana could be prosecuted under the statute," Court Rules
Traverse City: MI: The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 this week that the state's 'zero tolerance per se DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) law is constitutional, even if the statute might apply to drivers who are not under the influence of illegal substances. The majority held also that motorists could be prosecuted under the state's DUID law for having detectable levels of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their blood - even though the presence of such metabolites are not associated with driver impairment, and are not defined under the statute as an illicit substance.
The ruling reverses a prior Appellate Court ruling that determined that the state had to demonstrate that the presence of a controlled substance in a driver's body was the proximate cause of an accident to move forward with a DUID prosecution.
Michigan's DUID law "does not require [driver] intoxication, impairment, or knowledge of that one might be intoxicated; it simply requires that the person have 'any amount' of a schedule I substance in his or her body when operating a motor vehicle," the Court opined. "It is irrelevant that an 'ordinary' marijuana smoker does not know that [cannabis metabolites] could last in his or her body for weeks. ... That the statute might apply to some persons who are not actually 'under the influence' of marijuana does not render the statute unconstitutional."
The Court further found that cannabis metabolites may be defined under the law as a Schedule I controlled substance with a "high potential for abuse," even though they have "no pharmacological effect on the body."
Michigan is one of 13 states that have enacted either per se or 'zero tolerance' per se DUID laws making it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of illicit drugs and/or drug metabolites in a driver's blood, saliva or urine.
Writing for the dissent, Judge Michael Cavanaugh opined: "Today's holding now makes criminals out of numerous Michigan citizens who, before today, were considered law-abiding, productive members of our community. Now, if a person has ever actively or passively ingested marijuana and drives ... he is [unknowingly] breaking the law, because if any amount of [cannabis metabolites] can be detected - no matter when [the marijuana] was previously ingested - he is committing a crime. The majority's interpretation, which has no rational relationship to the Legislature's genuine concerns about operating a motor vehicle while impaired, violates the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution."
The consolidated cases are Michigan v Derror and Michigan v Kurts.
 

Maxgr97

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Yea I heard about this.

Can they just pull you over and drug test you if they think you're stoned like a breathelizer? Or are they lab tests for crashes and whatnot? Just wondering, this stuff is crazy.
 

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