Marijuana DUI prosecutions in Colorado

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Marijuana DUI in Colorado

You can be accused and convicted for driving under the influence of marijuana.  Marijuana DUI convictions have penalties and consequences like that of an alcohol dui.  Marijuana DUI investigation will differ from an alcohol DUI investigation in a few ways.  It should, but not always is, conducted by an officer who is a drug recognitions expert.  A DUR (drug recognition expert) is an officer who has training, usually a few hours or a day, in detecting signs and symptoms of a person under the influence of drugs- including marijuana.   In addition to standard field sobriety tests, marijuana DUI investigations should include officer taking a pulse, eye dilation exam, and possibly your blood pressure.

The driving pattern noted by the officers will be used as evidence against you.  Driving too slowly, weaving in and out of lanes, sudden stops or turns, or great variance in speed could be used to establish that the drug impaired your ability to operate your car.  More than likely, the state would use a driving pattern to help it proves it’s marijuana DUI case against you.

If your marijuana dui stop was due to defective equipment, such as a broken taillight or expired license plate, officers may still have a reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence of marijuana.  Officer first observations when they approach your car will be important in marijuana DUI cases.  The office could claim that he smelt the odor of marijuana, either on the person or in the car.  He/she may also claim that they observed that the driver had red watery eyes.

In addition to driving pattern, before you were arrested, you were most likely asked to complete a serious of Field Sobriety Tests.  These tests, which are voluntarily, meaning you do not have to participate in them, should have been preformed by an officer trained in drug recognition, as noted above.

Is there a limit to marijuana levels, like there is alcohol?

If you are suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana a blood test will be requested.   Depending on how long after and how much marijuana you ingested, a result could be detected.  Currently, there are no levels or per se amounts as there is with alcohol.  A blood alcohol content of .08% or more within two hours of driving allows the state to presume you were legally under the influence when you drove. This is not the case in marijuana DUI prosecutions

Toxicologists in Colorado who regularly testify for the state would argue that a THC blood content of 5 or even as low as 3 nanograms per milliliter, should be the pre se level.  There is significant disagreement in the scientific community as to the science and actual ability to prove a per se level in marijuana dui cases.  Mainly because drugs impact each individual differently and there is less data on marijuana and impairment levels as compared to alcohol.  As studies and additional information is learned, this may change in the future.

Even if the result or level of marijuana in your blood was extremely low- you may still be prosecuted depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest.  If you are charged with a marijuana dui, consult a dui attorney to review your case and any potential defenses that you may have.

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