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Federal Court of Justice: Cannabis users should assess their ability to drive themselves


BGH makes decision on “Smoking and driving a car”
If you drive a car after consuming cannabis, you may lose your driver's license - even if you have been using it for some time. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has made this clear in a decision (Az. 4 StR 422/15). Accordingly, cannabis users have to check at any time before driving whether they are roadworthy - and if in doubt, leave the car behind.

Driving license loss possible even days after consumption
Driving a car after consuming cannabis can have bad consequences. You don't even have to be acutely intoxicated to lose your driver's license. Because the residues of the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can still be detected in the urine even after days. The limit is one nanogram of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood - from this value, the driver is assumed to be unsuitable for driving, even if he has long since become sober again.

So far, it has been a matter of dispute between the higher regional courts as to the conditions under which the trial judge, based on the determination of a value above 1.0 ng / ml THC in the blood of a vehicle driver, behaved in an “objectively and subjectively negligent and therefore negligent manner within the meaning of § 24a para .2 and 3 StVG may conclude ”, so the announcement of the BGH.

In spite of an increased THC value, the man lodges a legal complaint
In the current case, a man had been fined 500 euros for negligent driving under the influence of intoxicating agents and had to give his driver's license for a month. Previously, a THC concentration of 1.5 ng / ml in the blood had been measured in a traffic control. The competent district court had based this judgment solely on this value - whether the man was actually unfit to drive was ignored. Finally, the person concerned lodged a legal complaint because, in his view, the allegation of negligence was "unsustainable".

Previously, in other similar cases, several other higher regional courts had actually concluded that the driver could not tell whether or not the THC was physically disruptive at the time of driving. But this argument will no longer matter in the future, because the Federal Court of Justice has now made a decision.

When in doubt, the car must stop
According to this, after consciously consuming cannabis, the driver is obliged to ensure that he is capable of driving before starting the journey. The BHG was to be ensured after "through proper self-examination" or "if necessary after obtaining expert advice". If no clear basis for assessment can be obtained, the driver must keep his hands off the wheel to ensure that he is not driving with a THC concentration in the blood that is above the limit value.

Furthermore, the trial judge is also authorized "in cases in which the drive with the motor vehicle does not take place at the same time as the previous cannabis use," in the absence of contradictory evidence solely from the determination of a corresponding THC concentration in the blood to one according to §24a Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the StVG objectively and subjectively to conduct contrary to due diligence ”, so the decision of the BGH. (No)

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