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A question about driving high in Colorado

We all know that in Colorado, adults may possess and consume marijuana under certain conditions. We might not all know the parameters of laws regulating its use, however; most importantly, laws regarding the use of marijuana and driving.

One overarching message Colorado has tried to make clear: it is illegal to drive while you are impaired by any substance, whether that substance is marijuana, alcohol, prescription medications or street drugs or any combination of those substances.

People sometimes ask: is there is a legal limit for marijuana consumption? Most people know that in Colorado, the legal limit for alcohol is .08 percent. If your BAC (blood alcohol content) is tested at or above that level, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Is there a corresponding figure for marijuana consumption?

The short answer: Yes. Colorado law states that anyone with 5 nanograms of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in their system can be prosecuted for DUI. But as with alcohol, police officers don't have to require strictly on test readings before making a DUI arrest. If they observe what they believe to be impaired driving, they can make an arrest.

Officers then leave it up to you, your criminal defense attorney and the courts to determine whether or not you were actually guilty as charged.

If you are found guilty, penalties can be painful, including possible jail time, loss of your driver's license, fines, community service requirements and mandated driving classes. Even more, your auto insurance rates are almost certainly going to skyrocket if you wage an effective fight against DUI charges. 

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