Colorado has famously become more lenient on the use of marijuana, as one of the first two states in the U.S to legalize recreational use. While penalties for possessing or using marijuana have relaxed in general, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or any drug, including marijuana. What is different about marijuana DUI charges versus, for example, alcohol DUI charges, is that there is no set legal limit for the amount of marijuana in your bloodstream that automatically triggers a DUI charge the way that the legal limit of .08 does for alcohol.
Marijuana remains in your system long after the point at which you are “high” or your driving is impaired. That said, there is a presumption that marijuana-impaired your ability to drive if you had more than five nanograms of THC in your system. Without a clear legal limit for marijuana in the bloodstream, however, the prosecutor must prove that you were impaired while driving, which can be more difficult than simply providing the results of a chemical test.
If you have been charged with a marijuana DUI, call our law firm today at 719-451-7469 to let one of our experienced marijuana DUI attorneys start building a solid defense for you.
How Does an Officer Determine Driving Impairment Due to Marijuana?
Marijuana does not show up on a breathalyzer the way alcohol does, so in order to have chemical evidence that you are too impaired by marijuana to drive safely, an officer will have to conduct a blood test. However, the prosecution can still go forward with a marijuana DUI case even if there is no blood test result. Instead, the prosecution will rely on law enforcement officers’ observations of evidence at the time of the arrest—bloodshot eyes, the smell of marijuana in the car, the presence of marijuana in the car or on your person, or other indicators. Your driving will also be examined for evidence of impairment, such as erratic driving, an accident you caused, inability to stay in your lane, or other traffic violations.
Are There Good Defenses to Marijuana DUI Charges?
Because there is no legal limit for the amount of marijuana that you have in your blood while driving, and because conviction is often based on subjective observations, there are several possible ways to defend yourself against marijuana DUI charges. Because the laws regarding marijuana DUI are somewhat vaguer than those around alcohol-related DUI charges, marijuana DUIs can be much harder to prove. You are innocent until proven guilty in the American justice system, and proving guilt in these cases can be difficult for prosecutors.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Here at our law firm, our criminal defense attorneys leverage their knowledge and experience to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. We are here to fight for you and protect your rights under the law. Reach out to our law firm today by calling 719-451-7469 to learn more about how we can help you.