Many people may be wondering, In California can you smoke in your parked car? The location of your automobile when it was parked determines whether smoking is permitted inside. However, there is one more issue with smoking in your car: even if you weren’t driving, you can still be detained for a DUI.
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Can I Smoke in My Parked Car in California?
Californians can now use marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes thanks to Proposition 64, which was approved in 2016. The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in some places, both public and private, but not all.
The solution to the question of smoking inside a parked car is complex. The location of your automobile when it was parked determines whether smoking is permitted inside. However, there is one more issue with smoking in your car: even if you weren’t driving, you can still be detained for a DUI.
Is It Legal to Smoke in A Parked Car in California?
In accordance with California Health and Safety Code Section (HSC) 11362.2, there are only a few specific private and public places where marijuana smoking is permitted. It is prohibited to use marijuana if:
If there are children present, a school, daycare, or youth facility is within 1,000 feet of you.
You are in a public area where there is no exception for an event or other circumstance.
You are in an area where cigarette use is prohibited.
Here, the law does permit some exclusions. For instance, if you’re on the property of a private home and no one can see you’re smoking, you can smoke up to 1,000 feet from a school while kids are inside. You won’t be prosecuted for breaking HSC 11362 as long as you stay inside these bounds.
In California, Smoking in A Parked Car May Still Be Illegal
While it is legal to smoke or consume marijuana for recreational purposes in California, if you have done so recently enough to be impaired, you are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle. You may face the same DUI charges as if you were charged with drunk driving if you drive while intoxicated after smoking or drinking marijuana.
Officers are on the lookout for additional indications a driver has been driving while impaired by marijuana as a breathalyzer cannot reliably distinguish marijuana impairment from alcohol impairment. Individual smoking inside a car, even one that is parked, is one indication that an officer might look for. If you have been smoking while driving, an officer may approach your parked car to check.
Simply being in a car that is on or has recently been on while smoking may be enough for an officer to stop you for a DUI even if they don’t witness you driving. If you have marijuana available for smoking in your car, you may additionally be charged with transporting an open container in addition to the DUI.
Charges for Smoking in A Parked Car Can Be Resisted
You can take a number of actions if you wish to smoke in your parked car to lessen the possibility of receiving criminal penalties, such as a possible DUI charge. One can:
- Check to see if you have the authorization to smoke in the enclosed space where the car is parked.
- Never smoke in a car that has just been driven.
- Never smoke while operating a vehicle.
If police approach your car while you’re smoking, keep your composure and be courteous. Before being arrested, you are not needed to provide consent to a chemical test or to do a field sobriety test. You have the right to legal representation during any interrogation that goes beyond simple inquiries like who you are and who owns the car.
Information About The Consequences of Being Caught
- Smoking cigarettes: Although it’s not unlawful to smoke cigarettes while driving, doing so may result in additional charges, such as inattentive driving. If you chuck your cigarette butt out the window, you could potentially receive a littering citation.
- Minors inside the car: It is forbidden to smoke while the automobile is parked if there are minors inside as well. You risk receiving a punishment of up to $100 if you are found breaking this legislation.
- Smoking marijuana: According to state legislation, it is forbidden to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any substance, including marijuana. If you are detected, you will be found guilty of a misdemeanor drug-related DUI.