After it legalized the recreational use of marijuana, Colorado stepped up its enforcement efforts to ensure that individuals who use the drug won’t drive while under the influence. However, DUI lawyers in Denver may still see a rise in the number of individuals who have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. If you have been charged with DUI because of the alleged use of marijuana, you should take the charge as seriously as any other criminal charge and contact a defense lawyer right away.
Colorado law has established a legal limit of five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. The illegalization of driving while impaired by marijuana acknowledges the potential dangers involved, which may include reduced reaction time, poor hand-eye coordination, and impaired perception of distance and time. Additionally, having marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia in your vehicle may lead to the charge of a violation of Colorado’s open container law. This means that even if a passenger, rather than a driver, is allegedly using marijuana in a car, he or she could be charged.
Although the law itself is cut-and-dried, Colorado law enforcement officers have run into a number of enforcement difficulties, which have the potential to lead to improper arrests. Your DUI lawyer can investigate your particular case to determine if a mistake may have been made. For example, unlike alcohol, there is no breath test available to check for the presence of active THC. This means the only way for officers to assess a driver’s THC level is with a blood or urine test at a hospital. As an end result, some drivers may be required to take the test even if they are not actually impaired. Plus, marijuana affects people in different ways. A heavy user of marijuana would naturally have a higher level of THC—even if that person had not smoked prior to driving. Your DUI attorney can take all of these factors into consideration when building a defense on your behalf.