Although Florida has taken steps towards legalizing medical marijuana, it is still illegal to drive while under its influence. If caught, a person can face a driving under the influence charge, even if they have been legal prescription. Unfortunately, it can be difficult determining when a person last smoked cannabis and whether they are still being affected. Blood tests and urine tests only show cannabis long after it has stopped having any effect. Still, if people are hurt or killed in the accident, a DUI involving marijuana can end up being a life-altering charge.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports on a teen arrested on a marijuana charge after a fatal accident.
18-year-old Riley Nicole Sterner, a Gainesville teenager, is who Florida State Patrol says is responsible in a crash that killed an Ocala man who was riding a motorized wheelchair last year.
She has been cited for careless driving and arrested on possession of fewer than 20 grams of marijuana and drug equipment. She was released shortly after being arrested. She is required to appear in court for the accident which led to the death of 72-year-old Roberto Villa.
On November 18, 2018, Sterner was driving a 2006 Scion X when she struck Villa, who was heading home with friend 34-year-old Ulises Perez Ortiz. The Scion collided with both the bicycle that Ortiz was riding and Villa’s wheelchair. Ortiz suffered from serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. Villa succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
In the arrest report, FHP Cpl. Baker said that when he opened the door, he smelled marijuana. He recovered a blunt from the driver’s side floorboard and it tested positive for marijuana. There were also several “used marijuana blunts” in the ashtray.
Sterner was not arrested at the scene, because toxicology tests were required. When the tests came back, it showed that there was not enough marijuana in Sterner’s system to cause impairment.