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Can you be accused of driving impaired due to marijuana?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2016 | DUID |

In Colorado, using marijuana is legal for adults, but that doesn’t mean driving under the influence of drugs is. The issue some prosecutors have now brought up is that there is no real test to show how intoxicated a person is by drugs; instead, they have to find other ways to show the person’s impairment.

In Washington, there is a per se rule that determines that THC levels five nanograms or higher per milliliter of blood equals intoxication, even if a person doesn’t act like it. In Colorado, that’s not how things work. In fact, Colorado set a liberal version of that law and made a rebuttable presumption that those with five nanograms per milliliter would be assumed guilty of driving under the influence, but the difference is that you can argue your case against the assumption.

In Colorado, juries can still look at evidence outside the blood test to see if the driver was actually impaired. For example, one woman was pulled over for an expired registration. She had not been driving erratically, but she had smoked marijuana in the morning and had a THC level close to four times over the DUID limit. A jury later acquitted her, because she claims she doesn’t get high off the drug. She uses the drug for symptom relief, and she had developed a tolerance to the psychoactive effects.

In situations like that, people using marijuana may not be able to be found guilty of a DUID. If you fall into that category, your attorney can help you build the right defense for court.

Source: Forbes, “Colorado Prosecutors Complain They Have To Prove DUID Defendants Were Actually Impaired,” Jacob Sullum, accessed Aug. 04, 2016