Judge deciding case of man charged with marijuana DUI

Kent County courthouse in Warwick. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island judge is mulling a perplexing question – at what point should a driver who used marijuana be considered impaired?

Judge Daniel Procaccini heard arguments Tuesday in the case of 26-year-old Marshall Howard, a Warwick resident who is charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in an accident that killed a 23-year man in 2017.

The Providence Journal reports the trial is the first in the state and a test of the driving-under-the-influence laws.

Procaccini says there’s no way to correlate the amount of marijuana compounds in a person’s blood to their level of impairment.

Prosecutors say the marijuana compound THC was present in Howard’s system, but Howard’s lawyer says it “barely” showed up in the test.

Authorities say Howard passed two of three field sobriety tests.

Procaccini plans to rule within a month.