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How Do Police Test for Marijuana DUIs in Tennessee?

What to Do If You If You are Facing a DUI Marijuana Charge

Have you ever wondered how law enforcement officers in Tennessee determine if a driver is driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana? This is an important question, especially if you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge. In this article, we break down how these tests work, the potential consequences of a marijuana DUI in Tennessee, and what to do if you are facing charges.

To learn more about your rights following a DUI marijuana arrest, contact Herbert & Lux. Our DUI defense lawyers in Nashville know the ins and outs of these cases and can put a defense in place to help you secure the best outcome possible. Contact our office today to speak with an attorney for free. 

Traffic Stops and Probable Cause

Before law enforcement can test a driver for marijuana intoxication, they must have probable cause. Officers cannot conduct a traffic stop based on a hunch. Instead, they must be justified for pulling someone over. Without probable cause, the traffic stop will be considered illegal, which can lead to the case being thrown out of court.

Police can show probable cause if the driver was:

  • Going in and out of the lane
  • Driving the wrong way
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Driving significantly under the speed limit
  • Suddenly slowing down, speeding up, or stopping
  • Running stop signs or red lights
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Hitting objects or other vehicles

How Does Law Enforcement Test for DUI Marijuana?

Law enforcement officers use some, if not all, of the following methods to determine whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis. 


During a traffic stop, an officer will look for signs of marijuana intoxication, such as:

  • Motor skill impairment
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Altered or unusual behavior
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Slurred speech 

Field Sobriety Test

If an officer suspects a motorist is under the influence, they will conduct one or more field sobriety tests. FSTs include the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. 

Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)

An officer may ask a DRE to come to the scene to determine whether a driver is intoxicated. A drug recognition expert is a specially trained officer who can recognize the signs of being under the influence of marijuana and/or other substances. 

Blood Test

The most effective way to determine whether a motorist is under the influence of marijuana is to do a blood test, which will measure the THC levels in the driver’s bloodstream. 

Penalties for a Marijuana DUI Conviction in Tennessee

If convicted of driving under the influence of drugs in Tennessee, a driver faces the following penalties:

1st Offense

  • Up to 48 hours in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000 
  • Victim Impact Panel or DUI Class
  • 1-year license revocation

2nd Offense 

  • Up to one year in jail 
  • Fines up to $3,500 
  • 2-year license revocation

3rd Offense

  • Up to one year in jail 
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • 6-year license revocation

Subsequent Offenses 

  • Felony conviction
  • Up to 15 years in jail
  • Fines up to $15,000
  • 8-year license revocation

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Marijuana DUI

The most crucial step to take after being charged with driving under the influence of cannabis is to consult with an attorney. An experienced DUI defense lawyer in Tennessee will explain your rights and discuss the legal process. Your attorney will also look into the details of your case and develop a strategy to defend you against the charges.

Are You Facing a Marijuana DUI Charge in Nashville? Contact Herbert & Lux.

Marijuana DUIs are taken seriously in Tennessee and come with harsh consequences. But keep in mind that being charged with DUI doesn’t automatically mean you will be convicted. Understanding the testing process and knowing your legal options is essential. If you or someone you love are facing charges, it is crucial to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney, one who will take proper steps to protect your rights.

At Herbert & Lux, our team is dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, we are here to help. Our Nashville criminal defense lawyers will fight hard to protect your best interests and get you the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential case review.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.

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