Montana DUI Law Set To Change - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana DUI Law Set To Change

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On October 1 new public safety laws will go into effect across the state. One includes a revision to Montana's DUI law.

House Bill 168, which passed through the legislature in April, will limit the amount of marijuana an individual can consume before they are considered driving under the influence.

"It's going to encourage impaired drivers to stay off the road and it's going to give law enforcement the ability to make arrests for those drivers and prosecute them," said Representative Doc Moore, House Bill 168 sponsor.

The new legal limit of THC an individual can consume before being considered under the influence will be set at five nanograms. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that creates a high.

Previously, the THC limit was only in place for medical marijuana cardholders. Now, it will be extended to everyone including illegal users.

"If someone is pulled over when they have not been drinking, but have been consuming marijuana, their blood draw can be screened for at the crime lab," said Lieutenant Ryan Stratman, Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.

Ryan Stratman, head of the patrol division for the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said the new law has the potential to keep our roads safer.

"If it takes one person off the road that has potentially consumed marijuana and meeting that threshold, it's worth it," said Stratman.

Moore said he wants all Montanans and their families to know they are safe while driving.

"I've just seen too many people with their families that have been the victims of impaired drivers," said Moore.

Stratman hopes this new law helps prevent marijuana users from driving on our roads under the influence.

"I hope this statute does allow for some enforcement of those that are impaired," said Stratman.
 
Stratman said if any officer feels like a driver is impaired, they will pull them over. They are not specifically looking for people using marijuana.

Montana is the fifth state to impose this THC limit while driving. The other states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Washington.

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