It is important for people in Colorado to understand that a DUI is when a person drives a motor vehicle while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, a person can be facing such a charge if he or she operates a motor vehicle and he or she is a habitual user of a controlled substance — ANY controlled substance.
5 ng/ml Of THC Or Higher Equates To A Marijuana DUI — Legal Marijuana Use Is NOT A Defense
Although marijuana is legal for many in Colorado, it does not make it okay to drive while under the influence of the drug. Just as alcohol is a legal substance, a person can still end up in trouble if he or she drives while under the influence of a few or more drinks.
If a person is suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, he or she will be asked to take a blood test. If the amount of THC in the blood is 5 nanograms or higher, it may mean he or she can be arrested for marijuana DUI.
Rebuttable Presumption Of Driving Under The Influence
There is a rebuttable conclusion of DUI, which gives the defendant the opportunity to offer evidence that rebuts this presumption. The goal is to show there was no impairment while he or she was driving. Essentially, that the driver was not driving stoned.
The issue with marijuana is that it stays in a person’s system for long periods of times, unlike alcohol. Blood tests could show THC levels well above the 5 nanogram legally permitted limit, especially from people who are habitual users of the drug. Despite high levels of THC in the blood, the person may not be impaired at all. THC levels build up over time, but those levels do not necessarily equate to a person being high or otherwise impaired.
With most adults over the age of 21 legally able to purchase and use marijuana, the amount of drivers on the road with THC levels higher than legally permitted will increase, especially since blood tests can show THC results even after weeks of no use.
Refusing To Take A Blood Test
Many people think that since they know a blood test will show THC in their bloodstream it is best to decline the test and seek legal assistance. Yes, legal assistance is a good thing, but in Colorado there are “expressed consent laws.” This means that drivers have consented to sobriety tests by merely driving on the Colorado roadways. Refusing to take the test will result in the person’s driver license being revoked for a year.
Allowing a blood test could still cause a person’s license to be revoked, but depending on the situation, the legal defense and other factors, he or she could have his or her license back within a few months.
Marijuana DUI Charges Require The Help Of A Skilled Attorney
Any DUI claim is serious and a DUI attorney will always be of great assistance, but especially in this complicated area of marijuana DUIs. Contact our offices if you or a loved one is facing a Marijuana DUI.