Santa Cruz County unit officers ready for arise in cannabis-related DUIs


These jars of pot were seized during trade stops by California Highway Patrol. The justification is stored during a CHP bureau in Aptos.   (Contributed -- California Highway Patrol)

These jars of pot were seized during trade stops by California Highway Patrol. The justification is stored during a CHP bureau in Aptos. (Contributed — California Highway Patrol)




SANTA CRUZ The motorist was so high on marijuana, he upheld out with his feet on a brakes of his 2012 Hyundai Sonata in a branch line of 17th Avenue during Portola Drive about dual weeks ago, a California Highway Patrol mouthpiece said.

“It’s not odd for us to find somebody upheld out in their car,” officer Trista Drake said. “It happens all a time.”

Officers arrested a 23-year-old Santa Cruz male who upheld out in his Hyundai shortly after 10 p.m. Dec. 15, Drake said. He was charged with pushing underneath a influence.

Marijuana spoil is on a arise and it expected will freshness on a roads after recreational cannabis business chartering starts Jan. 1, Drake said. As a result, a Santa Cruz County CHP bureau will boost training for drug-recognition experts after a new year.

The plan: Have during slightest 65 percent of a staff bear a 40-hour consultant march that teaches officers to brand many forms of drug impairment.

Marijuana, distinct alcohol, has no authorised extent for drivers, though all forms of marred pushing can outcome in arrest, according to state law.

There are 3 sections of DUI laws in California that customarily request to cases of inebriated or drug-infused driving. The initial territory creates it bootleg for drivers to be marred by drugs or ethanol — a statute formed on an officer’s discretion. The second territory of law creates it bootleg to expostulate with a blood-alcohol turn of some-more than 0.08 percent while driving.

“Let’s contend a motorist is weaving badly and hits a core divide, for example. That chairman could be arrested with a reduce blood-alcohol level,” Drake said.

The third territory specifies drug spoil is an arrestable offense. But there are no levels someone contingency surpass to mangle a law. Drugs usually need a spoil standard. Alcohol can outcome in possibly form of DUI arrest.

Marijuana spoil competence be charged for mixed factors: a smell of marijuana, a participation of a drug and marred function such as delayed speech.

“Marijuana can make we act a same as alcohol. It’s a executive shaken complement antidepressant like alcohol,” Drake said. “It slows down a system. It takes longer to conflict to things. It can be really scary.”

She pronounced pot spoil is not something highway unit is ignoring.

Officers ask drivers how many they have smoked.

“A lot of times, they will acknowledge it to us,” Drake said. “We check their pulse, their eyes.”

And officers check a driver’s tongue. Drake pronounced someone who is on pot competence have a thick greenish-white cloaking on his or her tongue.

“It’s gross,” Drake said. “But, to be arrested, we have to uncover signs of impairment.”

Drunken pushing is a many common form of DUI, though drug spoil is on a arise among Santa Cruz County drivers, Drake said.

The highway unit hosted a holiday crackdown of marred pushing Dec. 22 to Dec. 25. During that time, Santa Cruz County CHP done 18 DUI arrests, Drake said. Of those arrests, 11 were alcohol-related. Three arrests were combinations of drugs and alcohol. One concerned a motorist who seemed to be high on pot only, Drake said.

“That’s a good amount,” Drake said.

The highway unit monitors all roads and has an agreement with Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office for CHP to examine DUIs in unincorporated areas.

“We are saying an boost of drugs and we design it to continue, generally with (recreational) pot sales being authorised a initial of a new year,” Drake said.

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