Cannabis DUI Terms Defined

Do you have questions about cannabis DUI terminology? You are not alone. The lingo around cannabis DUI charges can be a confusing alphabet soup of acronyms, and the exact definitions may depend on where you live. Different states have different definitions, so it is important to talk to a lawyer in your area that knows DUI law in your area.


Here are some cannabis DUI terms defined.


  • Drugs – A driving charge involving drugs can involve any kind of medication or drug. Here are some examples.
    • Over-the-counter drugs (OTC) drugs can impair driving and be used in a DUI or other driving charges. Some examples of OTC medicines that can impair driving are cough and cold medicines, sleep aids, and allergy medicines.
    • Prescription drugs, including those prescribed by your doctor for a medical condition and taken properly, can cause driving impairment. Some examples include medications for anxiety, antidepressants, pain medicines, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, stimulants, and anti-seizure drugs.
    • Illegal drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, mescaline, PCP, methamphetamine, and psilocybin.
    • Cannabis of any kind can impair driving. Driving impairment could be determined based on the use of medical cannabis or recreational cannabis. Any dosage form could potentially be involved, including flower, tinctures, concentrates, or edibles. Many popular cannabis and hemp-derived products can impair driving and lead to a cannabis DUI charge, including Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, or THCO.
  • DUID – Driving under the influence of drugs.
  • DWAI – Driving while abilities impaired. Generally, DWAI may be used to refer to a lesser charge than a DUI in some states.
  • DWI – Driving while intoxicated, or driving while impaired, depending on an individual state’s law. Like DUI, DWI can refer to alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Although DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, the exact differences vary between states.
  • Impairment – The term impairment refers to the point where an individual’s consumption of drugs or alcohol has affected judgment or physical ability, but at a lower level than intoxication. Impairment with alcohol can be based on blood tests, performance in standardized field sobriety tests, or observed behavior. With cannabis, although THC levels are not reliable indicators of cannabis impairment, state laws vary.
  • Intoxication – Physical or mental control that is markedly deteriorated by the effects of alcohol or drugs is referred to as intoxication. With alcohol DUIs, intoxication refers to a blood alcohol level that is higher than impairment. With cannabis, intoxication is more difficult to define and state laws are variable.
  • Open container – An open container of alcohol is typically defined as a container that has been opened, has a broken seal, or has some of the contents removed. Most states have laws that prohibit drivers and passengers from possessing an open container of alcohol inside of a vehicle. With expanding legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, open container laws have been defined similarly by states, although there are differences in regulations. Usually, a cannabis open container is one that has a broken seal, has contents partially removed, or if there is evidence that cannabis was consumed in the vehicle.
  • OUI – Operating under the influence. OUI is a term only used in certain states, and it is often used interchangeably with DUI.

A cannabis DUI charge or arrest can be expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Even medical cannabis patients who have followed the law and done everything right can still be charged with a cannabis DUI. It is important to consume cannabis responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. To find out specifics for cannabis DUI in your state, contact a DUI lawyer in your area.

If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges please check out what a reepher membership has to offer.

What Do You Know About Cannabis Drug Testing?

Most people experience cannabis drug testing in relation to police or employer interactions. Police may order a cannabis drug screening if they suspect a cannabis DUI. As states have passed medical and adult-use cannabis laws, some employers are beginning to do away with cannabis drug test requirements. However, there are still employers that include cannabis or THC in employee drug screenings.


Cannabis Urine Test and a Cannabis Blood Test Compared


Cannabis is most commonly tested in urine or blood. Cannabis drug test results depend on factors such as how long ago you consumed cannabis, how much cannabis you consumed, and individual differences in how fast cannabis is cleared from your system.


Here is a comparison chart of urine and blood tests for cannabis.


How Long After Consuming Cannabis Does THC Show Up on a Drug Test?


THC (or delta-9 THC) can stay in the body and show up in drug tests for days, weeks, or even months after consumption. THC and its metabolites are fat-soluble, so they can be stored in fat cells and released slowly over time. That is why some studies suggest that exercise can increase the chances of a positive THC drug test, even if someone has not consumed cannabis recently.

Can Police Require a Cannabis Drug Test?


Police can require any driver to take a cannabis drug test under the concept of “implied consent,” which means that under the law any driver automatically consents to drug or alcohol testing. If a driver refuses to take a police-ordered drug or alcohol test, they can face serious consequences such as losing their driver’s license, or the refusal can be used against them in court proceedings in a cannabis DUI arrest or charge.



Are There Cannabis “Breathalyzer” Tests?


Unlike alcohol, there is no breathalyzer test for cannabis, THC, or THC metabolites. As states are legalizing medical and adult-use cannabis, public health officials and law enforcement are increasingly concerned about more drivers on the road driving under the influence of cannabis. Scientists are working on a THC breath-scanning device, but so far it is unclear whether there will be accurate cannabis breathalyzer tests in the future. The best advice when it comes to cannabis and driving? Don’t drive high.


Could CBD Affect Cannabis Drug Tests?


Unlike THC, CBD from hemp is non-intoxicating. Products derived from hemp that are less than 0.3% THC are federally legal. However, a cannabis drug test could still detect trace amounts of THC from full-spectrum CBD products. CBD consumers should carefully check products for THC percentages, and buy CBD products from reputable companies with third-party lab testing.



Concerned About Drug Testing With a Cannabis DUI? reepher Could Help!


Considering most states have no minimum THC threshold for a DUI conviction, cannabis consumers face serious risks if they drive with the slightest trace of THC in their system. With few exceptions, police can charge a driver with a cannabis DUI no matter how little THC is in their drug test if their driving behavior suggests or implies intoxication. The penalties drivers will face for a cannabis DUI conviction are severe, and not to be taken lightly!

If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential cannabis DUI charges, check out what a reepher membership has to offer.

What To Do if You Are Pulled Over With Cannabis in Missouri

If you drive in Missouri with cannabis in your car, you may have questions about what happens if you are pulled over by the police. Getting pulled over with cannabis in your car can potentially lead to serious consequences, even for medical cannabis patients who think they are doing everything right within the law.

What Should You Do if You Are Pulled Over?

If you are pulled over by police, remain calm, use your turn signal, and pull your vehicle to a safe location on the right side of the road. Follow the officer’s instructions, stay calm, answer questions, and provide the requested documents.

What Happens if You Have a Medical Cannabis Card and Are Pulled Over in Missouri?

If you have a medical cannabis card in Missouri, you must have it with you if you are in possession of cannabis. For Missouri medical cannabis patients, the laws for cannabis possession are as follows:

  • Medical cannabis patients who do not cultivate or have cannabis cultivated on their behalf may be in possession of up to a 60-day supply (or eight ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent.
  • Medical cannabis patients who are cultivating cannabis for medical use, or their caregivers are cultivating on their behalf, may be in possession of up to a 90-day supply (or 12 ounces) of dried unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent. The cannabis that is cultivated must stay on the property and be in the patient’s or caregiver’s control.


What if Police Suspect You Are Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis?

According to Missouri implied consent law, when operating a motor vehicle drivers automatically consent to a Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test if arrested. Police can require a driver to take a THC test if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence, or if they are involved in a major auto accident.

If a driver in Missouri refuses to take a drug test after a police officer requests it, they can be legally forced to do so through a warrant. Refusal to take a test has immediate consequences, such as automatic license revocation for one year. Evidence of refusal to take a drug test can be admissible in court in a cannabis DUI prosecution.

Unlike searching a residence, police do not need a warrant to search your vehicle if they have a reason to suspect you have been consuming cannabis, such as smelling cannabis in your car.

Can You Get a Cannabis DUI if You Are a Medical Cannabis Patient in Missouri?

According to the state of Missouri, a medical cannabis card “does not offer individuals protection from violating laws pertaining to operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence. Nothing in Article XIV permits a person to operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any dangerous device or motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.” Therefore, even if you have a medical cannabis patient card in Missouri, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI. Use our THC Calculator to see how your medical cannabis consumption may impact your ability to pass a drug screening.

What Are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in Missouri?

Cannabis possession is still illegal in Missouri, except for qualified medical cannabis patients. The penalties for cannabis possession in Missouri are as follows:

  • For up to 10 grams on the first offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor and a maximum fine of $500.
  • For up to 10 grams on the second offense, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For 10 to 35 grams, the penalty is a misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • For more than 35 grams up to 30 kilograms, the penalty is a felony, up to seven years in jail, and a maximum fine of $10,000.

What About Getting Pulled Over With Cannabis in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis?

A few of Missouri’s major cities introduced cannabis ordinances before statewide 2014 cannabis reforms.

  • Columbia

Starting in 2004, Columbia police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

  • Kansas City

Starting in 2017, Kansas City reduced its fine to $25 for first-time cannabis possession of fewer than 25 grams. Then in 2020, Kansas City eliminated this first-time fine.

  • St. Louis

Starting in 2013, St. Louis police can no longer arrest first-time offenders with less than 35 grams for cannabis possession. These offenders would face a fine instead of up to $300.

How To Protect Against a Cannabis DUI Charge in Missouri

A cannabis DUI arrest or cannabis DUI charge in Missouri is expensive, and the laws are constantly changing. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. That is why it is important to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan.

It is imperative for cannabis consumers to understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs.