Many people assume that because recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, there are no consequences for using it. However, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug, even marijuana. Here’s what you need to know about the crime of driving under the influence of marijuana:
What is the Legal Limit?
If your blood-alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of 0.08%, you can be arrested for DUI of alcohol. But, what is the legal limit for marijuana? The law states that drivers with five nanograms of THC in their systems can be charged with DUI of marijuana. A blood test must be performed in order to determine the level of THC in a driver’s system.
There are several issues with the legal limit for marijuana. First, the law requires police officers to test a suspected drunk driver within two hours. However, there are no time limits in place for drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana.
Another issue with the legal limit is the limit itself. Everyone’s body processes marijuana differently. For example, someone who smokes marijuana on a regular basis may build up a tolerance to the drug. This person may not be intoxicated with five nanograms of THC in his blood, yet the legal limit still applies.
Are Medicinal Users Exempt From These Laws?
It doesn’t matter whether you are a recreational or medicinal marijuana user—you cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana. A medicinal user will not be treated any differently than a recreational user in this case.
What Are the Consequences?
Drivers who are under the influence of marijuana face the same consequences as drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. The criminal case will be handled by the county court, whereas the administrative case is handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In county court, the defendant will find out if he faces any criminal penalties such as fines, jail time, community service, and probation. On the other hand, the DMV will only rule on whether the defendant should lose his driving privileges or not.
Have you been charged with DUI for marijuana? If so, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will defend your rights and fight to protect your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.