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How do police decide to make an arrest for marijuana DUI?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2020 | DUID |

Everyone is aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Everyone knows that if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is measured at .08 or higher, you’re going to be charged with a DUI. But what about DUI charges involving marijuana use? This has been a persistent question ever since Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2014. There has yet to be a consistent answer for determining when someone is driving under the influence of marijuana.

We’ve mentioned on this blog before that many law enforcement agencies consider five nanograms or more of THC in the bloodstream is enough for a person to be intoxicated. However, there is no sound scientific basis to back up this assertion. Without a baseline such as those involved in drunk driving cases, how do police decide whether to arrest someone for suspicion of marijuana DUI? The answer comes to down to police observation and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. The police may decide to place you under arrest if:

  • Your driving was erratic, such as speeding up or slowing down, or weaving out of your traffic lane
  • You or your vehicle smelled of marijuana
  • There are marijuana products within your reach in your vehicle
  • Evidence of bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
  • Your behavior implies that you’re impaired

There’s no doubt that driving while stoned can be dangerous. In fact, the Colorado Department of Transportation states that “any amount of marijuana consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired.” As always, it’s best to avoid getting behind the wheel if you have recently consumed any product containing THC. However, when criminal charges are based on largely subjective observations, it’s crucial that you seek help from a professional who is skilled in criminal defense. You have rights, so take steps to ensure they remain protected.