Marijuana DUI

or

0 +
Charges Resolved
0 +
5 Star Reviews
0 %
Client Satisfaction
0 +
Locations Served
0 +
Years of Experience

Marijuana DUI

Colorado Springs Marijuana DUI

The last ten years in the United States have seen a seismic shift in attitudes and legislation concerning marijuana; nowhere is this more apparent than in Colorado. In the state of Colorado in 2000, voters passed Amendment 20 to the state constitution, which legalized the use of medical marijuana; in 2012, adult recreational marijuana use was legalized; in 2014, the recreational sale of marijuana was approved. With this flurry of marijuana legalization legislation came several misconceptions by the public about how this applies to driving under the influence of marijuana. Many people – especially out-of-staters — are not aware that you can get a DUI or DWAI for marijuana in Colorado.

If you have been arrested…

Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.

Here's What You Need to Know About DUI/DWAI for Marijuana in Colorado

It is a crime to drive in Colorado while you are under the influence or your ability is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. This applies to marijuana, despite the fact that it is legal in Colorado for adults to possess it and use it recreationally. Think of it exactly the same way you would think of alcohol. It’s legal to drink it, but illegal to drive drunk. The same goes for marijuana. It’s legal to smoke it, but illegal to drive high.

 

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A DUI FOR MARIJUANA IN COLORADO?

The penalties for a first, second and third (or beyond) conviction are harsh, and escalate. Some possible penalties are:

First conviction:

  • County jail imprisonment between 5 days-1 year
  • Fine between $600-$1000
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 9 months
  • Community service of 48-96 hours
  • 12 points on your license

 

Second conviction:

  • County jail imprisonment between 10 days-1 year
  • Fine between $600-$1500
  • Community service up to 120 hours
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 1 year
  • 2 years of an ignition interlock device after your license is reinstated
  • 12 points on your license

 

Third conviction:

  • County jail imprisonment between 60 days-1 year
  • Fine between $600-$1500
  • Community service up to 120 hours
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 2 years
  • 2 years of an ignition interlock device after your license is reinstated
  • Mandatory participation in a court-ordered alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program
  • Probation up to 2 years
  • 12 points on your license

 

Fourth (or more) conviction:

  • You may be charged with a felony
  • You can face 2-6 years in prison
  • Probation up to 6 years
  • Fine of $500,000

A first conviction for DWAI for marijuana has penalties somewhat less harsh than a first conviction for DUI for marijuana. Penalties for DWAI for marijuana are the same as DUI for alcohol for second, third, and later convictions.

You should also be aware that points on your driver’s license may increase your auto insurance premium, and possibly subject you to additional surcharges and substantial court costs.

 

WHY ARE THERE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA?

The goal of Colorado’s rules of the road is to eliminate risky behaviors while on the road. Not only is it illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana – it is also unsafe to you, your passengers, and others on the road.

One of the unfortunate effects of marijuana legalization is that it has led some people to believe that driving while under the influence of marijuana is not as dangerous as previously thought. This is a serious misconception, which can not only cause an accident or injury but can also have you facing some serious penalties, including fines, loss of driving privileges, severely limited driving privileges, and significant jail time.

According to numerous independent studies, marijuana impairs critical abilities to drive safely, such as: decreased attention, slowed reaction time, poor decision-making, and impaired cognitive performance.

A report prepared in September 2018 by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Strategic Intelligence Unit (RMHIDTA) found that the percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related increased from 11.43 percent in 2013 to 21.3 percent in 2017. The numbers have continued to rise; clearly, this has become an increasingly problematic public safety issue.

 

WHAT IS THE LEGAL LIMIT FOR MARIJUANA FOR DRIVING?

If you have five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your system, you can be prosecuted for DUI for marijuana. However, since there is no reliable roadside test for determining THC levels or a driver’s level of impairment, the main factor in whether you are stopped and charged by a police officer is based on what the officer observes. This is called “observed impairment.” Therefore, ANY level of active THC in your blood can put you at risk of getting stopped for DUI or DWAI. The only way to be absolutely certain that you are ok to drive and not subject to being charged for a DUI or DWAI for marijuana is to make sure there is no THC in your system.

 

HOW CAN A POLICE OFFICER TELL IF I AM DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED?

Like most police departments, alcohol or drug impairment detection is part of a Colorado law enforcement officer’s training. Some are trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). If an officer suspects that you are driving while under the influence of marijuana, he can request that you submit to chemical testing. The penalties for refusal to submit to a blood or urine sample are severe and include the immediate loss of your driver’s license.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I REFUSE ANY KIND OF TOXICOLOGY/CHEMICAL TEST (BLOOD, URINE, SALIVA)?

If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer due to observed impairment or any violation of traffic law, and a toxicology test is requested by the officer, there are severe penalties if you refuse to comply with the test. This is Colorado’s “express consent” law (also called “implied consent”), which means that just by driving a motor vehicle, you are giving consent to be tested if an officer pulls you over for suspected DUI or DWAI. You are required to submit to a field sobriety test and possibly a chemical test if requested. Do not refuse to take the test in an attempt to avoid detection of impairment or THC in your system. The penalties for refusal to take the test may be worse than if you had taken the test and it actually showed THC in your system. If you refuse to take the test, you will most likely lose your license immediately for one year, be required to have an interlock device on your vehicle for 2 years, and attend some kind of substance abuse education.

 

WHAT IF I HAVE A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD?

Having a medical marijuana card does not allow you to drive while your ability is impaired by marijuana. Again, the standard of “observed impairment” by a police officer applies.

 

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DANGERS OF DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA?

According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), 55 percent of marijuana users said they believed it was safe to drive under the influence of marijuana. This was a startling and troubling finding. As a result, CDOT launched a state-wide, multiyear initiative called the Cannabis Conversation to try to better understand public perception of the dangers of driving while marijuana-impaired and to better understand the behaviors and habits related to marijuana and driving. With this information in hand, CDOT can focus its educational messages on changing attitudes and driving behaviors with marijuana.

The problem is clear: marijuana-related traffic accidents and deaths are on the rise in Colorado.

The solution is even clearer: don’t get on the road if you have marijuana in your system. It’s the only fool-proof way to avoid a DUI or DWAI for marijuana.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is incredibly dangerous and can result in DUI charges. This includes prescription medications if they disrupt your awareness, as well as marijuana – even though it is legal to purchase and use in Colorado.

In Colorado, the penalties for a marijuana DUI will likely include jail time, fines, community service, driver’s license suspension, and points on your license.

Unlike with alcohol, for marijuana there is no specific limit at which point a person is considered “over the limit”. If someone has used marijuana and it has impaired their ability to operate a vehicle, they could be charged with a marijuana DUI.

Colorado Springs Marijuana DUI Attorney Near You

When you’re charged with a marijuana DUI in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. DUI attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.

Reviews

"My case was dismissed. Very happy with this law group."
by David Comeau
Reviewed at Google
5/5
"I cannot express how safe and confident I felt with Alexis and Esohe handling our case. "
by Kim Kluball
Reviewed at Google
5/5
"She cares more about helping people than she does her bottom line."
by Rebecca Partridge
Reviewed at Google
5/5

Sworn to Protect Our
Client's Liberty.

KEPT US UP TO DATE EACH STEP OF THE WAY

The attorneys at Right Law Group, reviewed our case and discussed their recommendations clearly. They kept us up to date each step of the way with continued explanations. They were readily available for questions/concerns through the process. We would reach out to them again in the future for any legal concerns.

— Helen
5/5

VERY COMMUNICATIVE AND VERY UNDERSTANDING

Alexis and Right law are a Great, Great , Law Firm!! They give you weekly updates on not just your case but also on what’s going on with their firm as well!!! Alexis is also very communicative and very understanding on any situation!! I would hands down Refer Alexis and the Right law firm to anyone with any situation!!! Great job Alexis words can’t describe what you have done for me!!!!
— Brandon
5/5