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Marijuana DUI

Being charged with DUI for impaired driving is not a new concept. Every state has implemented laws to discourage drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence, and Colorado is no different. However, the state is in a unique position when it comes to marijuana DUI.

Colorado is one of the few states in the U.S. where marijuana is legal for recreational use. But with this legalization, the state has seen a drastic increase in marijuana DUI. In fact, the Colorado Department of Transportation saw a 25 percent increase in DUI arrest involving marijuana between 2017 and 2018. This means law enforcement is on high alert for anyone driving under the influence of marijuana.

DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO

Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean you can drive while stoned. A marijuana DUI will entail the same penalties as if you were caught drinking in driving. Penalties can include time behind bars, a suspended license and expensive fines. To mitigate the chances of enduring the worst, contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C..

Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. has been successfully defending clients of marijuana crimes for almost a decade. Let us use this experience to your advantage. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with a marijuana defense attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We defend those accused of marijuana DUI in areas such as El Paso County, Pueblo County, Fermont County and Teller County.


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What is the Legal Limit for Marijuana in CO?

As one of the few states with recreational marijuana, Colorado needed to establish guidelines for what is considered too stoned to drive. Under state law, there are two ways an officer can determine you are too stoned to drive. This includes:

  • Having five nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood; or
  • Being impaired to a point where you are mentally or physically incapable of exercising clear judgment, physical control or due care to operate a vehicle safely

Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is another way you can be charged for driving under the influence of marijuana. A DWAI involves marijuana affecting you in the slightest degree. This means you are under the legal limit of 5 ng of THC, but you are still slightly impaired and less able to drive a vehicle than normal. DWAI is a lesser charge compared to DUI, but you can still spend time behind bars and earn points on your driving record if convicted.


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DUI Blood Test

There has yet to be a breathalyzer machine capable of testing the level of marijuana in a driver’s system. Because of this, law enforcement has to resort to blood testing to determine how much marijuana is in a driver’s system. A blood sample cannot be taken at the scene, so the arresting officer will have to take you to either a police station or hospital to collect the sample.

Blood tests are the most accurate method of DUI testing, yet they are still prone to errors. The Colorado State Board of Health (CSBH) set forth specific procedures for DUI blood testing. Your test results will be thrown out of court if these procedures were not followed. Some of the regulations set forth by the CSBH include:

  • The test must be given within two hours of the traffic stop
  • The sample is taken by a trained medical professional
  • The sample is tested by a Colorado certified lab
  • The arresting officer or other supervisor must be present when the sample is collected
  • The equipment is sterile
  • The sample is stored at a proper temperature
  • A second test must be conducted using a different testing method if the first sample is positive

You have a right to refuse a DUI blood test, but you should be aware of the consequences. For starters, by driving in Colorado, you give your expressed consent to submit to chemical testing when you are suspected of driving under the influence. Violating the state’s expressed consent laws will result in the following penalties:

  • One-year license suspension
  • A mandatory drug education and treatment program
  • Carry SR-22 insurance even if you are not guilty of the offense

You should also be aware prosecutors will use your refusal as evidence of guilt. Whether you submit or refuse a blood test, you will need Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. on your side to fight the charges against you.


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Penalties for Marijuana DUI in Colorado

A DUI is serious no matter the substance involved. A DUI by marijuana will be charged the same as if you were caught driving under the influence of alcohol. The extent of the penalties, however, are based on previous convictions.

Listed below are the possible penalties for a marijuana DUI:

  • A First-time DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by the following:
    • Five days to one year in jail
    • A fine between $600 and $1,000
    • License suspension for nine months
    • 48 to 96 hours of community service
  • A second DUI conviction in Colorado is also a misdemeanor but with harsher penalties. Penalties for a second DUI include:
    • Mandatory minimum of 10 days but up to a year in jail
    • A fine between $600 and $1,500
    • License suspension for one year
    • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • A third DUI offense is a misdemeanor punishable by the following:
    • Mandatory minimum of 60 days but up to a year in jail
    • A fine between $600 and $1,500
    • License suspension for one year
    • 48 to 120 hours of community service

Criminal penalties are not the only consequences you will have to endure when convicted of DUI. There are collateral consequences that will impact you long after your time has been served. With a DUI on your criminal record, you could lose your professional license, be barred from obtaining a professional license, be suspended from your university or lose college scholarship money.


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Additional Resources for Marijuana DUI

Driving Under the Influence | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the section of the revised statues over DUI. You can read the precise legal definition of the offense, learn more about DWAI and find out about DUI per se. The code can be read on Findlaw.com, an online legal resource.

Cannabis and Driving FAQ | Colorado Department of Transportation – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Transportation to read an FAQ forum over driving and marijuana. You can find answers to questions such as what if you use marijuana for medical purposes, how the substance can affect driving abilities if there are any additional penalties for having a child in the car.


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Marijuana DUI Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO

Conviction of DUI will have a detrimental effect on your criminal record and professional reputation. Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf and ensure all the facts of your case are heard.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a confidential consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends those accused of DUI in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Lincoln Park and Cripple Creek.


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Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.