Colorado Drug DUI’s
In Colorado, you can be convicted of Driving Under the Influences of Drugs or more commonly called Drug DUI’s. Included within the definition of drugs are: legal substances, such as lawfully prescribed prescription drugs, and illegal substances, such as cocaine or methamphetamines, unlawfully prescribed prescription drugs, and quasi-legal substances such as marijuana.
THE LAW ON DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
Colorado Revised Statute Section 42-4-1301 (1)(a) sets forth the prohibition for Drug DUI’s. It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of drugs.
Driving Under the Influence means that the drug affects you to a point that you are substantially incapable to exercise clear judgment, physical control, or due care in safe operation of the vehicle. The substantially incapable could be due to mental incapability, physical incapability, or both.
THE LAW DRIVING WHILE ABILITY IMPAIRED DUE TO DRUGS
Colorado Revised Statute Section 42-4-1301 (1)(b) sets forth the prohibition for Driving While Ability Impaired. This is a different standard than stated above. Typically, you will be charged with both offenses; but cannot serve more than one punishment. It is a misdemeanor to drive while ability is impaired due to drugs.
Driving While Ability Impaired means that you have used a drug(s) and that drug(s) affected your ability to operate a vehicle in the slightest degree so that you were less able to drive as you ordinarily would have either mentally, physically, or both to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care.
NO LAWFUL PRESCRIPTION DEFENSE
It is no defense to a Drug DUI that you have a lawful prescription for the drug, including a RED card for medicinal marijuana use. If you do have a lawful prescription and/or have a tolerance to a drug could show that the drug(s) did not affect you. This IS a defense to the claimed charges. Simply having a prescription is not a defense, but it can create a doubt as to how the drug(s) affect your ability to drive or impaired your ability to drive. Your opportunity to present such evidence is with your attorney, not as the officer is simply trying to find ways to make the case against you stronger. The less you say to law enforcement, the better. See our previous posts on KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and DUI MYTHS or contact us directly at (303) 747-4686.
There is a presumption that if you have five (5) nanograms or more of 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood it can give rise to an inference that you were driving under the influence of marijuana, this is important in a Drug DUI case. This is not a black line rule, but rather an argument that the government can use against you. Factors again that can negate this presumption, include tolerance, sleep, type of marijuana, and driving pattern.
A Drug DUI scan have consequences, including jail time and license revocation. If you, a friend, or family member are accused of driving under the influence of any drug, illegal or legal, contact us today for a free consultation by calling us directly at (303) 747-4686 or click here.