Colorado is at the vanguard of American states that have liberalized marijuana laws. The allowance given state residents to use pot for recreational and medicinal purposes means that consumers can drive under the influence, correct?
The Colorado Department of Transportation says that "any amount of marijuana consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired" and warns that you cannot judge your own level of impairment. The official DUID threshold for marijuana is five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but officers are expected to base DUID arrests on the things they observe that indicate impairment.
A Colorado marijuana advocacy group is, like legions of residents and motorists across the state, less than enthralled with the legal presumption -- the "permissible inference," as termed in our September 8 blog post -- that any motorist with at least five nanograms of THC in his or her blood is driving stoned.
We note on our website the firm yet clearly unsatisfactory "5 ng or greater" standard applicable to drivers in Colorado who are suspected of driving after having smoked marijuana.
The recreational use of marijuana may be legal under Colorado law, but that doesn't mean you won't be arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) if you smoke pot before getting behind the wheel. In fact, Colorado law expressly states that there is a "permissible inference" that drivers are under the influence of drugs if their blood contains five nanograms or more of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.
We noted in a recent blog post the growing frequency with which news reports and stories across the country are focusing upon DUID-related matters. Our April 26 entry stressed that such a development "is only natural, given the steady progression of states that are liberalizing their laws regarding the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana."
DUI-related stories and reports -- emanating from both Colorado and elsewhere across the country -- are increasingly citing data and other information germane to so-called "DUID" (driving under the influence of drugs) offenses.
The first quarter statistics of 2017 has shown a drop of 33 percent in marijuana-related DUI traffic stops, which has been steadily declining each year. Even with the decline, officials are still skeptical about whether this decrease can be attributed to fewer drivers being under the influence or is simply linked to fewer drivers being stopped. While troopers have been arresting for marijuana DUIs for a long time, the testing relies on trooper assessment during the actual stop. Unless drivers are violating traffic laws or showing signs of impaired driving, they are not likely to be pulled over and assessed.
Life as a professional over-the-road driver can be both exhilarating and challenging. Whether you are a bus driver who helps people get where they need to be going, or you are an interstate long-haul freight trucker, you know that your position presents you with a unique responsibility to stay safe and cautious while driving. However, mistakes are often made. A DUI for CDL drivers can be crippling, and can carry with it significant consequences. Understanding the regulations of your CDL license and what can disqualify you from operating a commercial vehicle in the future is necessary for your career.