Colorado police are having trouble convincing people that driving while the under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. But according to a recent study conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, most drivers have revealed they believe driving under the influence of cannabis is safer than driving under the influence of alcohol.
The study, called “The Cannabis Conversation,” also revealed that many cannabis users are “highly skeptical of the laws, policies and enforcement regarding driving under the influence of cannabis – and want credible, nuanced information.” The study found that some habitual cannabis users believe cannabis made them calmer while driving, while others say they took extra precautions after ingesting marijuana.
CODOT and Colorado law enforcement find the lack of caution involving drugged driving and marijuana as a major problem. In 2016, CODOT reports one-third of fatalities in Colorado involved an impaired driver, which accounts for 196 fatal vehicle crashes for the state that year. More than 17 percent of all DUI arrest from the Colorado State patrol in 2016 involved marijuana.
Despite statistics showing driving under the influence of marijuana can be dangerous, some of the respondents to the study said they believe the current legal limit of active THC in the bloodstream is not based on sufficient evidence. Under Colorado law, the legal limit for driving after ingesting marijuana is five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Some Coloradoans may not be aware that they can be charged with a Driving While Ability Impaired if you are below the legal limit for driving and ingesting marijuana but still appear to be impaired to police officers.
If officers are serious about wanting to decrease the number of marijuana-impaired drivers on the road, respondents told researchers they don’t respect stereotypes of cannabis users being lazy or feeling like targets by patrol officers when marijuana is legal. Researchers concluded that most marijuana users were likely to trust their feelings and personal experiences more than statistics. The study recommends advertisers to use messages that involve more feeling instead of fact. The study also found drivers were more likely to respect officers if they referred to marijuana as cannabis, and that incentivizing rideshares or advocating to wait to drive after the driver sobers could potentially cause more drivers to reconsider drugged driving.
If you are accused of driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado, you could spend up to a year in jail, be fined between $600 to $1,000, and have your license suspended for nine months. The penalties for a marijuana DUI get worse for each successive charge a driver receives.
In addition to criminal penalties, having a DUI on your criminal record can lead to the loss of a professional license, being barred from obtaining a professional license, and even result in being suspended from a university or job.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended clients accused of being high on cannabis behind the wheel can be the difference between keeping a DUI off your record instead of serving jail time and potentially being left unemployed. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Clifton Black can challenge any questionable evidence presented against you, including any DUI blood tests that were not administered lawfully to the account the arresting officer says about you in court.
Don’t let your reputation and future be dictated by a court-appointed attorney. Call the law offices of Clifton Black PC at (719)328-1616 to learn what our experienced attorneys can do for your case today.