Yes, You Can Get a DUI for Being High

A Couple of NFL Players Learned the Hard Way

In the early afternoon on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, Pittsburgh Steelers’ running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were arrested in Ross, Pennsylvania.

The arresting officer’s affidavit stated that he initially pulled their black Chevy Camaro over because he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Bell initially denied possessing marijuana, but after the K9 unit responded to the scene, Bell and Blount admitted to having 20 grams of pot in the glove compartment, that they both chipped in to purchase shortly before the stop.

Footbal player smoking marijuanaAfter being asked if they had smoked marijuana recently, Bell, the driver, admitted to smoking, and naturally expressed his ignorance of the law, stating:

“I didn’t know you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine.”

As it turns out Mr. Bell, yes, you can get a DUI for being high. Bell was arrested for possession of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana. Blount was arrested for possession of marijuana.

In Pennsylvania, Possession of Marijuana is a misdemeanor. Bell and Blount are facing a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $500. The first possession conviction is eligible for condition release, where Bell and Blount would get probation for up to a year instead of jail time.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana is also a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, and the first offense carries the following penalties:Bell Arrest Affidavit

  • Imprisonment for a minimum of 72 hours and maximum of 6 months;
  • Fine of not less than $1000 and not more than $5000;
  • Offender is required to attend alcohol highway safety school;
  • License suspension of at least 18 months;
  • Complete 150 hours of community service; and
  • Attend a victim impact panel.

How Much THC Can Be in Your System?

Pennsylvania basically has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence of marijuana. Their statutory legal limit is 1 ng/mL of THC or the marijuana metabolite. So if any trace of marijuana is found is your system, it will put you above the legal limit. Compare that to Nevada, where the per se limit of THC is 2 ng/mL and the metabolite is 5 ng/mL. Those amounts are still extremely low, and any person who uses marijuana will likely be above those legal limits days or even weeks after the last time they used, as the marijuana metabolite can stay in your system for up to 45 days.

If you are someone you know has been arrested for any kind of DUI, Half Price Lawyers can help. Just call our offices at (702) 400-0000.


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