Ohio marijuana bill would change OVI standardPosted by On

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – State Sen. Nathan Manning wants to equip Ohioans with extra armor to fend off a marijuana OVI charge.

The North Ridgeville Republican on Thursday introduced legislation that would overhaul the way law enforcement screens marijuana impairment among motorists, citing the drug’s long-lasting presence in the body and the lack of clear-cut science about how long its users remain impaired.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana can be detected in one’s system weeks or months after its use. That could leave clear-headed drivers who pose no threat to Ohio’s roadways – even if they test positive – with a criminal record and court costs, Manning, a former prosecutor, said.

“If you had a glass of wine or a beer a few days ago, do you think it’s okay that you’re driving today? It’s obvious you’re not feeling those effects of it anymore,” Manning said. “I think it should be the same way for marijuana.”

How would marijuana OVIs change?

Under current law, Ohio motorists can be arrested if law enforcement believes there’s probable cause for impairment, which is typically determined via roadside sobriety test.

The arrested motorist then undergoes a blood or urine test, and if the sample positively shows a certain concentration of marijuana, the driver is automatically charged with an OVI, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

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