California Motorists Under 21 Could Lose License if Caught Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

California motorists under the age of 21 would lose their driver’s license for a year if caught driving with marijuana in their system under new legislation, though the state still is developing methods of measuring the drug in the body and determining a standard for impairment.

Orange County sheriff's Deputy Jeff Puckett checks a motorist's identification at a DUI checkpoint. (Credit: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Orange County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Puckett checks a motorist’s identification at a DUI checkpoint. (Credit: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) said he proposed the law so that the state would have the same “zero tolerance” policy for pot that it has for those under 21 who drive under the influence of alcohol.

“This bill will save lives by making it illegal for drivers under age 21 to drive under the influence of marijuana, just like current law for alcohol,” Hill said in a statement.

SB 1273 would target drivers under 21 who are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and who test positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive agent in marijuana. The bill foresees using an oral swab saliva test or another chemical field test.

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