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As one of the pioneer states for legalizing recreational consumption of cannabis, Colorado has been under a microscope for years now by the nation. Our state is currently grappling with State and Federal regulations and how to balance local voter rights against a Schedule 1 drug. One major problem facing law enforcement and drivers alike is determining the laws and regulations centering around driving under the influence. Colorado has become a hot spot of activity for this challenge, bringing in professionals from all corners of the country to determine a system that is accurate and fair for all individuals.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding cannabis and driving. If you’re facing penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, contact a Denver marijuana DUI attorney from the Law Office of Jill M. Jackson for help. For years, Jill M. Jackson has delivered legal assistance for DUI charges, criminal cases, personal injury claims, and more. Her focus on delivering a personalized and comprehensive approach for your case ensures that you are receiving quality representation.
Arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana? Dial (303) 818-7209 or complete an online form to discover your legal options.
Marijuana DUI FAQ
Modern DWI and DUI laws concerning driving under the influence of marijuana are more confusing for commuters than ever before. Below you can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions concerning driving while intoxicated with THC. If you are in need of a professional DUI lawyer for your case, be sure to reach out to our law office for assistance.
Can I drive if I have ingested cannabis? We strongly recommend against it. While the law holds fairly clear judgement and measurements for driving while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana use at the wheel still remains unclear. The State’s view on “driving dirty” is that you cannot accurately determine your own level of impairment. Any amount of THC taken by a driver should be considered dangerous, as there is no way to accurately determine how impaired an individual can be.
Is there a legal maximum for marijuana impairment while driving? Unlike alcohol, it has been very challenging for Colorado to come to a consensus on an accurate and reliable method for testing THC impairment. Each substance is metabolized differently, requiring an entirely new DUI check system. Our state now uses a system that measures the THC content in your blood by the nanogram, with five nanograms per milliliter as the threshold for assessing DUI charges. While states such as Montana and Washington rely on this measurement the same as alcohol for accepting impairment, Colorado views it as a “permissible inference” of impairment. This means that a THC measurement would only help in establishing evidence of being under the influence. 12 states across our country follow a stricter system, where any detectable amount of THC can lead to a DUI arrest.
Can I drive if I only consume medicinal marijuana? The answer here is no. Any substance that can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle is not allowed to be used regardless of its medical value. Even if you have a legitimate prescription for a physician, charges can still be filed if you are found to be impaired. This same concept applies to medications of all varieties. Picking up your pills at the pharmacy is perfectly fine, but if those pills impair your ability to drive in any way, you are at risk of facing DUI charges.
Driving In Possession
Can I drive with marijuana products or paraphernalia in my car? Colorado law follows similar guidelines for both cannabis and alcohol. Marijuana products are allowed in the passenger area of your vehicle if they are sealed. Open container laws make it illegal to have any THC out of a sealed container. If you are pulled over and an officer finds evidence that marijuana was consumed in the vehicle (smells, residue, etc.), you may be assessed DUI penalties. Remember that it is illegal to ingest cannabis on any public road regardless of whether or not you are the driver.
How can police officers know if I am impaired by marijuana use? This answer is more subjective than anything else, as Colorado law enforcement relies on their training to detect impairment as the primary driver of any DUI arrest. Our state offers advanced roadside enforcement training to assist in creating consistency with marijuana stops. Many agencies also rely on a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) which can arrive at the scene when called to offer detection services for a wide range of illicit substances.
Can I refuse a blood test when testing for THC impairment? Similarly to alcohol enforcement, you can choose not to cooperate with law enforcement in obtaining a blood sample for chemical analysis. Keep in mind that there are no charges that stem from the amount of THC found in a driver’s blood, meaning that you will not face a suspension based on your level of intoxication. Drivers who refuse the test will be treated as a refusal, which places you as a “high-risk driver” regardless of the outcome. Your license will also be suspended, with future control measures coming in later as administrative penalties, as opposed to criminal charges.
Child Abuse Charges
Will I face additional penalties if children are in the car at the time of my DUI arrest? In most cases, definitely. If you are assessed DUI charges in connection to transporting a minor, you may face a list of criminal charges. Child abuse is one charge that is very common for drivers facing DUI penalties. If you are dealing with child abuse charges, it’s important to find an experienced DUI lawyer near you that can represent you through the case.
DUI charges in Colorado can be very complicated due to the lack of data and experience surrounding marijuana. If you are dealing with your own DUI arrest in Denver for pot-related charges, it’s important to find professional representation for your case. Jill M. Jackson is proud to serve as your dedicated DUI attorney, delivering passionate services to optimize your outcome. Contact us today learn more about our legal services.
Facing marijuana DUI charges? Make sure you are defended by an aggressive drug crime attorney in Denver by contacting the Law Office of Jill M. Jackson today.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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