how long after you smoke can you get a dui

DUI is a serious offense with severe consequences. It’s common knowledge that drinking alcohol before driving can lead to DUI charges, but what about smoking? Smokers may wonder how long after smoking they can get a DUI. The answer can be surprising!

The Link Between Smoking and DUIs

The Effects of Smoking on Driving Ability

Smoking not only harms your health but also impairs your driving ability. Here’s how:

  • Smoking reduces your reaction time: When you smoke, nicotine goes into your blood and affects your brain, making you react slower.
  • Smoking affects your vision: Smoking can make it hard to see clearly when driving by causing blurred vision.
  • Smoking can make you drowsy: Nicotine can cause fatigue, making you feel sleepy and less alert behind the wheel.
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Driving under the influence of marijuana legal consequences

Driving under the influence of marijuana (DUIM) is illegal in all states, and the legal consequences vary depending on your state. Some states say it’s against the law to drive with a certain amount of THC (the stuff in marijuana that makes you feel high) in your bloodstream. In other states, you can be charged with DUIM if impaired, regardless of your THC levels.

How Long After You Smoke Can You Get a DUI?

The Short Answer

The short answer is that it depends on several factors:

  • The amount of nicotine or THC you consume
  • Your body’s metabolism
  • How much you weigh
  • How frequently do you smoke

The Long Answer

Smoking affects your driving for hours and how long nicotine or THC stays in your system depends on various factors. Nicotine stays in your body for about three days, while THC can be detected for up to a month, depending on how often you smoke and your metabolism.

How to Avoid a DUI When Smoking

Don’t Drive Under the Influence

The best way to avoid a DUI when smoking is not to drive under the influence in the first place. If you plan on smoking, arrange for a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service to get home safely.

Know Your Limits

If you decide to drive after smoking, know your limits. Take a break and wait until the effects of smoking wear off before getting behind the wheel.

Use a Breathalyzer

You can use a breathalyzer to check your blood alcohol level (BAC) before driving. Some breathalyzers can tell if you have THC in your body, so you can figure out if it’s okay to drive.

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How long should I wait to drive after getting high?

The CDPHE has provided guidelines for safely using cannabis:

Colorado had a very dangerous year on its roads in 2021, especially due to impaired driving. In 2022, more than 250 drunk drivers caused deadly accidents, the largest number since 2002. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize safety for yourself and others while making decisions in the new year.

Wait before driving after consuming cannabis for safer consumption. So, how long should you wait before driving? Our friends at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have provided some information below:

If you’re going to use cannabis, think about these rules:

  • Wait for 6 hours after smoking marijuana with less than 35 mg of THC before you drive, bike, or do other activities that require concentration and alertness.
  • If you smoked over 35 mg, you should wait longer.
  • If you consume marijuana with less than 18 mg THC, wait 8 hours before driving, biking, or doing anything that requires your full attention.
  • If you’ve consumed more than 18 mg, wait longer — and if you have consumed alcohol, it’s crucial to wait even longer.

A typical joint in Colorado contains around 0.5 grams of marijuana, consuming 60-115mg of THC, while the standard serving size for edibles is 10mg.

Don’t drive under the influence – it’s important to prioritize your safety and the safety of others around you.


What is a DUI?

A DUI is a criminal offense in which a person is caught driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Can you get a DUI for smoking weed?

Yes, you can get a DUI for smoking weed. THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, can impair your driving ability, and law enforcement agencies have ways to detect it.

How long does THC stay in your system?

It depends on how much and how often you smoke, as well as your body weight. THC can stay in your system for a few days to weeks.

How long after smoking can you get a DUI?

There’s no one answer to this question. It depends on things like how much you smoked, how heavy you are, and how quickly your body processes things. After smoking, you could still be impaired for a few hours, and if you’re caught driving during this time, you could get a DUI.

How can law enforcement detect THC in your system?

Law enforcement agencies typically use blood, urine, or saliva tests to detect THC in your system. Depending on the test, these tests can detect THC several hours or even days after you’ve smoked.

Can you refuse a drug test if you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence?

You may be asked to take a drug test if you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. If you refuse a drug test, your driver’s license may get suspended and you may face other legal consequences, which is why it’s not a good idea to do so.

Can you still get a DUI even with a medical marijuana card?

Yes, you can still get a DUI, even with a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana is legal in many states, but driving under its influence is a crime even if you have a medical marijuana card.

How can you avoid getting a DUI for smoking weed?

To avoid getting a DUI for smoking weed, wait until you’re no longer high before driving. This may take several hours, so you must plan and avoid driving if you’ve recently smoked.


So, how long after you smoke can you get a DUI? It depends on several factors, including how much nicotine or THC you consume and your body’s metabolism. The best way to avoid a DUI is not to drive under the influence in the first place. If you smoke and plan to drive, know your limits. Check your breath with a breathalyzer to make sure you’re safe to drive. Driving while using nicotine or THC is equally unsafe and against the law as drunk driving. Stay safe on the roads!

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