Police chases can be exciting to watch but they often end badly. While a recent pursuit did not lead to an accident, it did cause someone to get arrested for a DUI offense.
A police pursuit in West Virginia has led to the arrest of a Maryland woman. The incident happened on January 5 after a driver took off following a traffic stop by the Charleston Police Department.
The initial traffic stop happened in the 1400 block of McCorkle Avenue. Police pulled over an SUV, but the driver quickly took off. The SUV was later spotted by police on westbound I-64 between the Oakwood and Montrose exits.
Police pursued the driver, who drifted between the slow and fast lane and ran two vehicles off the interstate. Once the driver hit a spike strip, the pursuit ended. Law enforcement approached the vehicle, and the driver, a 49-year-old woman from Halethorpe, Maryland, refused to exit. Police had to cut her out of the seat belt to remove her from the SUV.
Police described the woman’s behavior as bizarre. She also had a hard time focusing. The woman performed field sobriety tests at the site and she showed signs of impairment. She admitted to police that she smoked medical marijuana four hours before the traffic stop. The woman is now facing multiple criminal charges, including driving a vehicle while under the influence, fleeing from a police officer, and obstructing a police officer.
While medical marijuana is legal in Maryland (and West Virginia, where the DUI arrest took place), it is not legal to drive while under the influence of it. Marijuana may seem like a harmless, non-addictive drug, but it affects the brain in many ways. It impairs judgment and makes it difficult to perform complicated tasks. This can make it hard to drive properly and avoid an accident.
Because of this, no state allows drivers with medical marijuana permits to legally operate a vehicle while under the influence of the drug. This is because an impaired motorist is considered to be an unsafe driver. It does not matter if the driver is using marijuana for medical treatment or recreational use.
To be convicted of a DUI based on drug use, the prosecutor must prove one of the following:
DUIs are serious crimes. While they are often charged as misdemeanors, they can result in fines, jail time, license loss, community service, and other penalties.
If you get a DUI, your future is at risk. You may lose your license and even your job. The Columbia DUI & traffic offenses lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. will provide you with the aggressive representation you need to get a favorable outcome. Call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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Columbia, MD 21044