Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Laws

Mass. Court Ruling: Police Can Arrest for Drugged Driving Based on Observations

Massachusetts has just ruled that if a cop thinks you’re driving while high, the best thing you can do is lawyer up.

Mass. Court Ruling: Police Can Arrest for Drugged Driving Based on Observations
Shutterstock

A court in Massachusetts has ruled that police can make arrests for drugged driving based on their personal observations. The state Supreme Judicial Court made the ruling on Monday in the case of Mark J. Davis, who was pulled over on the Massachusetts Turnpike and arrested by Massachusetts State Police in July 2015.

Troopers said that Davis had been driving at 80 mph and tailgating other motorists, according to the ruling. Davis, who was driving, and two passengers were in the vehicle. The car had a “strong odor of burnt marijuana and an odor of fresh marijuana,” according to media reports. The trooper said that Davis smelled like pot, too. Davis also had “red and glassy” eyes, which he had trouble focusing and struggled to keep open. The trooper also noted that Davis had difficulty following “simple directions.” He had also apparently admitted to recent cannabis use.

“The defendant told the officer that he had smoked marijuana earlier that day, before he left to drive to Somerville,” the ruling states.

Police then searched the car and found oxycodone, cocaine, and a firearm. Davis was arrested and later tried on drug possession, drugged driving, and gun possession charges. He was convicted of drug possession by a jury but acquitted of the other charges.

Lawyer Throws Client Under the Bus

During the trial, his attorney admitted that Davis was responsible for the drug possession charge.

“Go ahead and find him guilty of the drugs in the glove box. Those are his,” the ruling says.

Davis appealed the conviction, arguing that the troopers did not have probable cause to arrest him for driving under the influence of marijuana and therefore the search of the car was illegal. The court upheld the conviction, ruling that the observations made by the troopers during the traffic stop gave them probable cause to arrest Davis for drugged driving. The ruling noted that there are no validated field sobriety tests for drug use and that impairment by cannabis can be difficult to gauge.

“We acknowledge that it is often difficult to detect marijuana impairment, because the effects of marijuana consumption ‘vary greatly amongst individuals,’” the court wrote.

The court also ruled that the search of the car without a warrant was legal because of statutory exceptions for searches of automobiles.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

Recreational cannabis users may now buy their favorite flowers in Massachusetts.

News

Massachusetts pot shops will be allowed to reopen later this month.

News

A study of fourteen medical marijuana patients yielded interesting results during a simulated driving study.

News

Massachusetts' Cannabis Control Commission will start accepting applications this month.

News

Massachusetts cannabis regulators said on Thursday that they believe recreational marijuana retailers closed by an emergency order issued in light of the ongoing coronavirus...

News

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts has been seeing a significant rise in medical cannabis patients.

News

The decision to close recreational cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts has been upheld by a judge.

News

Cannabis dispensaries are fighting to be taken seriously in this pandemic.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!