In January of 2014, Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana, allowing adults 21 and over to buy and use the substance. However, it cannot be consumed in public areas, and a person who is caught driving under the influence can be arrested and charged.
Under Colorado Revised Statutes C.R.S. 42-4-1301, it is illegal for a person to drive a vehicle while they are under the influence of, or their ability is impaired by, alcohol or drugs. This law applies to individuals who use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, as the substance can impair driving ability regardless of the reason for its use.
A violation of this law is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the person has 3 or more DUI convictions, they could be charged with a class 4 felony.
Is There a “Legal Limit” for Marijuana DUI?
Colorado law specifies that a person can be charged with marijuana DUI if they are caught with 5 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their blood, which is the chemical compound in the cannabis plant that gets an individual “high.”
A person can be charged with marijuana DWI if their ability to exercise sound judgment, physically and/or mentally, while driving is even slightly altered, regardless of the amount of the substance in their system.
Individuals who are 21 years of age or older are permitted to possess a maximum of 2 ounces of cannabis. However, it is important to note that if you are stopped by law enforcement and tested for impairment, you can still be arrested for DUI even if your blood alcohol level and Delta 9 active THC level are below the legal limit. This is because cannabis has the ability to intensify the effects of alcohol and cause impairment.
How Is Marijuana Detected in Drivers?
Colorado law enforcement officers receive training to determine if a person is driving under the influence of marijuana. Police departments also have drug detection specialists on staff, called Drug Recognition Experts, who are trained to detect various types of substances in a person’s system.
If an individual is arrested for marijuana DUI, they are required to submit to a chemical blood test to detect THC levels. Refusing to take this test could result in driver’s license suspension and mandatory ignition lock installation.
Contact Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C. to Discuss Your Case
If you were arrested for marijuana DUI, it is imperative to have a legal advocate on your side, as a conviction could result in jail time, a fine, loss of driving privileges, and ignition lock installation.
At Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., we will examine your unique circumstances and develop a defense to protect your rights. We have successfully achieved case dismissals and “not guilty” verdicts for past clients, and we are prepared to do the same for you.
Request your case evaluation by calling us or contacting us online.