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Denver radio station examines DUID confusion

Colorado Public Radio in Denver recently broadcast an interesting report that included the story of a medical marijuana user. As the man drove on Interstate 70, he talked about his worry that he will one day be charged with DUID, or driving under the influence on drugs.

Because he uses marijuana on a daily basis to combat vertigo, he says he’s likely over the state limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Because THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, shows up in a person’s system long after the drug has been consumed, some sober drivers face the possibility of being busted for stoned driving.

One of the problems is that unlike alcohol, no one is really sure how much marijuana causes impairment. One traffic safety expert said it’s much more difficult to set an absolute standard for marijuana as states have done with alcohol.

As many know, the legal threshold for alcohol in Colorado is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent.

But marijuana and other drugs “just behave differently than alcohol does,” the expert said.

A Colorado State Trooper certified as a drug recognition specialist admitted that there is no easy, reliable way to test someone suspected of marijuana impairment.

“...we don’t have a marijuana Breathalyzer,” he said.

Because most law enforcement agencies don’t track marijuana-related DUIDs (though the state patrol recently began tracking), no one knows exactly how many people are being accused of driving stoned.

The officer acknowledged that since limited recreational use became legal in Colorado, he hasn’t seen a significant increase in people driving while high.

For those facing a DUID, an experienced attorney familiar with the new law can help protect your rights and driving privileges.

Source: Colorado Public Radio, "Without A Marijuana Breathalyzer, How To Curb Stoned Driving?" Ben Markus, May 21, 2014

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