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Lawmaker Files Bill Creating Threshold For 'Driving Under The Influence' Of Marijuana

Florida House

A state lawmaker is hoping to add a standard threshold to what is considered “over the limit” in cases where a person is operating a vehicle and is high on marijuana.

Under current law, you can get a DUI if your Blood Alcohol Content is over or at .08 BAC. But,  Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Lake Worth) says there is no standard for marijuana, or THC impairment.

“So what this bill seeks to do is in cases of serious bodily injury or death, if there is suspected impairment by marijuana, it would set a presumption of impairment at 5 nanograms of active THC, which must be done through blood draw,” said Kerner.

His bill, called the “Naomi Pomerance Victim Safety Act,” is named after a 16-year-old girl who was killed in a scooter crash. Kerner says the person who was driving and caused the wreck was high on marijuana.

“Now, he’s being prosecuted for DUI manslaughter, but because there’s no impairment presumption with marijuana, it’s very difficult to prove he was impaired by marijuana,” added Kerner. “So, the prosecution of the driver is very complex and very difficult.”

Kerner, a medical marijuana supporter, says there needs to be a balance between supporting the drug for medical purposes and responsible criminal laws when that substance is used inappropriately and someone’s life is taken.

Kerner’s bill also incorporates Boating Under the Influence.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.