Marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado, but that does not give you permission to drive while under the influence of this substance. Marijuana is still a controlled substance, and you can be arrested and charged with a DUI or DWAI if the drug has impaired your ability to properly and safely operate a vehicle. Marijuana can affect your ability to drive safely, which is why drivers are not allowed to have marijuana in their bloodstream while operating a motor vehicle. When you use marijuana, it can cause drowsiness, memory impairment, slow reaction times, and even alter your sense of time – all things that are extremely dangerous to pair with driving at high speeds.
Seven Things to Know About This Type of DUI
While you may assume that it is okay to possess or use marijuana due to new state laws, realize that you cannot use marijuana and drive – just like you cannot be impaired by prescription medications or alcohol while operating a vehicle. Here are a few more facts that you need to consider before getting behind the wheel after using marijuana:
- Proving impairment. There is no test for proving impairment with marijuana DUIs at this time. However, if you have five (5) or greater nanograms of active THC in your blood, then you could be convicted of a DUI.
- You are subject to implied consent laws. While you may think refusing a test will prevent you from being convicted, you are forced under implied consent laws to take a blood test for your potential DUI. Failure to do so could result in equally harsh penalties, and an automatic driver’s license suspension – which means that you will face the consequences regardless of whether it can be proven that you were truly over the limit.
- Other evidence can be used against you. You may think that without a blood test, the prosecutors will have no case against you and the charges will be dropped. In reality, prosecutors have other evidence that they can use – including your refusal to take a test. They can also use evidence like your statements made to police, odor of marijuana smelled, demeanor, driving conduct, the presence of marijuana in your vehicle, and your performance during a field sobriety test.
- You have legal defenses at your disposal. Even if you have not passed the screening, you could have other defenses at your disposal – therefore, never accept a plea deal without first speaking to a criminal defense attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
- The penalties are harsh. Because of the penalties in the state of Colorado, you cannot risk working on your defense alone. Instead, you need to speak with an attorney. Just some of the penalties that you could face include a license suspension or revocation, jail time, probation, drug treatment and therapy courses, community service, and fines.
- There could be federal consequences. If you are convicted of a DUI while crossing state lines, you could also face federal charges for taking a controlled substance to another state – even though it was legal to purchase and possess in the state in which you purchased it originally.
- Your life could be changed forever. Do not forget about the long-term consequences of a conviction – including difficulty obtaining employment to losing your driver’s license and more.
Don’t Risk a Conviction – Contact a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
If you have been arrested for a DUI in the state of Colorado for marijuana, do not risk your freedom or the long-term consequences of a conviction. Instead, call an attorney who understands these types of cases and can help draft a successful defense. The Law Offices of Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. can help you with your marijuana DUI charges. I listen to my clients, help address their concerns, and aggressively fight to keep them out of jail and avoid harsh penalties. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation at 970-704-0888, or fill out my online contact form with your legal questions.