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Thanks for posting that Taler.

For something equally repugnant, did you know that Georgia has Zero Tolerance per se drugged driving laws?

"Zero Tolerance" Per Se Laws

Politicians and police have a simple, if unscientific, response to researchers' failure to define per se standards for DUID offenses: to enact "zero tolerance" per se laws. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have any detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite present in their bodily fluids.

This approach is not based on science but on convenience. In essence, "zero tolerance" per se laws define a new, driving-related offense that is, in the words of one of its chief proponents, "divorced from impairment." Under this standard, any driver who tests positive for any trace amount of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves), is guilty per se of the crime of "drugged driving," even if the defendant was sober. In the case of marijuana, these laws are particularly troublesome. THC, marijuana's main psychoactive constituent, may be detected at low levels in the blood of heavy cannabis users for 1-2 days after past use.4 Marijuana's primary metabolite THC-COOH, the most common indicator of marijuana use in workplace drug tests, is detectable in urine for days and sometimes weeks after past use5-- long after any psychoactive effects have ceased. Consequently, under "zero tolerance" per se laws, a person who smoked a joint on Monday could conceivably be arrested the following Friday and charged with "drugged driving," even though he or she is no longer impaired or intoxicated.

To date, ten states have enacted "zero tolerance" per se laws: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin. Among these, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Utah forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle with any detectable level of a controlled substance or its metabolites in one's bodily fluids.
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Not Quite

I think that if you are driving with a trace amount of some LEGAL drug, that is, one for which a prescription is available, the State must prove that the drug caused actual impairment. That is, you must have been seen driving badly, or you must have failed the field sobriety test.

Strangely, this has been applied to MARIJUANA also, on the theory that it can be somehow legally obtained in Georgia. I don't know how that is, but there's a court case that threw out a driver's "DUI-Drugs - per se" conviction because the State only showed THC in the driver's system, and did not also show impairment from it.
 

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Citation

See O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 (the DUI law), subsection (b), which says:
The fact that any person charged with violating this Code section is or has been legally entitled to use a drug shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this Code section; provided, however, that such person shall not be in violation of this Code section unless such person is rendered incapable of driving safely as a result of using a drug other than alcohol which such person is legally entitled to use.


The famous case applying the doctrine above to marijuana is LOVE v. STATE, 271 Ga. 398 (or 517 S.E. 2d 53), Georgia Supreme Court, 1999.

Of course this doctrine does not apply to drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine, which cannot be lawfully consumed in this state. It only applies to prescription drugs, some of which are "controlled substances" and some of which are merely "dangerous drugs."
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Re: Not Quite

gunsmoker said:
Strangely, this has been applied to MARIJUANA also, on the theory that it can be somehow legally obtained in Georgia. I don't know how that is, but there's a court case that threw out a driver's "DUI-Drugs - per se" conviction because the State only showed THC in the driver's system, and did not also show impairment from it.
There is a tax imposed on cannabis in the state of Georgia. § 48-15-3.

Interestingly enough, in 48-15-4 the text says "Nothing in this chapter shall require persons who are lawfully in possession of marijuana..."
 
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