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Colorado House takes its turn considering DUID, marijuana bill

The push toward creating a clear law regarding driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado continues. Colorado's State Senate approved Senate Bill 117, moving the controversial proposal to the desk of the State House.

The marijuana DUI bill was created by lawmakers who are reportedly worried about the number of car accidents caused by drivers who aren't drunk but who have THC in their systems. Supporters of the bill believe that there needs to be a set THC limit in order to deter people from smoking and driving and to give the legal system a consistent way to handle DUI cases involving marijuana.

Currently, there is no set THC limit that the system goes by to charge and convict a suspect of driving under the influence of pot. While supporters of SB 117 see that as a problem, opponents of setting a limit argue that THC levels aren't as telling as, for example, BAC levels. A long-term, legal user of medical marijuana could supposedly have a high enough THC level to warrant a DUID charge under the terms of the proposed law without him being impaired at all, according to opponents.

If ultimately passed, the proposed marijuana DUI bill would set the legal THC limit at 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood, even if a person isn't seemingly impaired. The science of the blood test would be enough to charge and likely convict DUID suspects, which is a threatening thought for some due to the mistakes already often made with other sobriety tests currently used in drunk driving cases.

Source: KJCT Grand Junction, "Senate OKs Marijuana DUI Bill," Don Coleman, May 2, 2012

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