Colorado DUI Laws have been firmly established throughout the state for many years now as they relate to alcohol. Members of law enforcement have the tools in place for determining the presence of alcohol and measuring a driver's blood alcohol content. The courts now have the experience in prosecuting the cases and are able to use a variety of penalties to punish convicted offenders and deter potential offenders.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
According to a recent study by the California Public Safety Institute, the likelihood of being involved in an automobile accident increases by 200% when under the influence of marijuana. Their studies have shown that marijuana can adversely affect a driver's reaction time, coordination skills and perception of both time and distance. In Colorado, with the recent new laws allowing usage of the drug, the challenge is how to determine whether a driver is currently under the influence.
If you were involved in an accident resulting from a negligent or reckless behavior of another driver, you may suspect that the driver was intoxicated by way of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Assuming that the driver is determined to not be under the influence of alcohol, how do the authorities check for other drugs like marijuana? The Colorado Department of Transportation announced that the defined level of impairment for marijuana is (5) nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood. A driver that is suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado can be asked to submit to a blood test. Further, the law uses administrative penalties for those drivers who refuse to submit, such as by means of a license suspension, which can apply regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of driving under the influence.
The issues involving the testing for driving under the influence of marijuana are still relatively in an initial or experimental stage, as evidenced by several examples such as:
- Denver's NBC affiliate KUSA/9NEWS reported in June 2016 that the US Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a warrant before conducting blood draws in DUI-related cases.
- The data reporting on marijuana-based DUI offenses in Colorado did not begin until 2012; therefore, it will be a few more years before analysis of the data can deeply be evaluated over a reasonable span of time.
- Law enforcement in Colorado is actively working to improve the process and in August 2016 an Impaired Driving Conference was hosted in Denver with over 1,000 in attendance.
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney
Have you or a loved one been made an accident victim resulting from another driver's decision to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol? The team at the The Law Office Of Jeremy Rosenthal is here to protect the rights of those that have been injured or killed in Colorado accidents and is ready to begin pursuing the justice you deserve. Contact the office today for a consultation.