April 20, 2012 – California NORML is happy to report that Assemblywoman Norma Torres has amended her DUI bill AB 2552 to drop objectionable new criminal penalties for driving with residues of marijuana or illicit drugs. The bill originally proposed treating drivers found with traces of marijuana or other drugs in their system as per se DUI, an idea strongly opposed by NORML as unjustified, inequitable, and costly.
Instead, the new bill will simply divide the existing DUI statute into separate sections so as to distinguish between DUI arrests for alcohol, drugs, and drugs+alcohol. This will allow the state to finally collect statistics on the number of arrests in each category, rather than lumping them all together, as is presently the case. This change will finally allow researchers to obtain accurate data on the number of drug vs. alcohol DUI arrests, something that has heretofore been lacking. The bill will not change any existing DUI penalties.
California NORML thanks Torres’ office for their constructive amendment and is withdrawing its opposition to AB 2552.
Cal NORML Opposes Zero-Tolerance DUI Bill