Though the state of Colorado is very friendly to recreational marijuana, you can still be charged with a marijuana DUI Colorado if you’re caught driving while high.
Because the state of Colorado defines a DUI as, “Prohibiting a person from driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, or while the person’s ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs.” If you are charged with a DUID in Colorado, you will face the same penalties as you would for a DUI or DWAI in Colorado.
Whether you’re facing a DUID Colorado charge or an out-of-state marijuana DUID, the stakes of a marijuana DUI Colorado conviction can be devastating. You need an aggressive DUI Attorney in Aspen like Mark Thiessen to help you fight this charge.
What is a marijuana DUI in Colorado?
Under 42-4-1301, C.R.S., a marijuana DUI in Colorado is classified as “being incapable, mentally and/or physically, to safely operate a vehicle as a result of marijuana consumption.”
Is it illegal to drive on marijuana in Colorado?
The state of Colorado has no strict “legal limit” for marijuana; however, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of marijuana if it negatively affects your driving ability.
Colorado is what is known as an “Express Consent” state, meaning that all drivers –– regardless of whether you are a resident or from out-of-state –– who choose to operate a motor vehicle within the state are agreeing to subject themselves to a blood test or breath test if an officer has probable cause to believe that you are driving while impaired to even the slightest degree.
If you are arrested for a DWAI or marijuana DUI in Colorado, the officer can require you to take a saliva, urine, or blood test instead of a breath test to determine how much marijuana is in your system. According to state law, motorists are considered legally impaired if a blood test detects at least five nanograms of active THC –– the active ingredient in most strains of marijuana. However, in order to be convicted, the prosecution will need to prove that you were too high to drive safely.
Factors used by police to prove this can include the following:
- You violated traffic laws set by the state of Colorado
- You were visibly swerving in and out of your lane
- You were speeding or driving too slow
- You look visibly under the influence of marijuana (bloodshot eyes, speaking slowly/slurred speech)
- You or your vehicle smell like marijuana
- Marijuana was found in your vehicle
What if I use marijuana for medical reasons? Individuals who are approved to use marijuana for health-related reasons and not to get high will be administered a medical marijuana card.
A policeman cannot make you take a blood test just because you have a medical marijuana card and this information can’t be used against you in court. Note that it’s still unlawful to drive under the influence of medical marijuana if it affects your driving, just as it is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of Ambien, Hydrocodone, or any other legally prescribed narcotic that impacts your ability to drive.
Marijuana DUI Colorado penalties
As mentioned above, if you are convicted of a DUID in Colorado, you will face the same penalties as a DUI or DWAI for alcohol depending on prior convictions –– this includes prior alcohol-related and drug-related DUI convictions. For example, if this is your first marijuana DUI Colorado offense, your penalties will be the same as a 1st DUI offense:
|Jail||5 days jail||1 year jail|
|Community Service||48 hours||96 hours|
|Probation||0 years||2 years|
On the more serious end, if you have a Felony DUI in Colorado conviction to your name, you will face the same severe consequences:
|Jail||2 years Colorado State jail||6 years Colorado State jail|
|Community Service||48 hours||120 hours|
|Probation||2 years||4 years|
Due to the severe nature of marijuana DUI penalties, you need an experienced, trial-tested attorney to defend you and your driving privileges in court. That attorney should be Mark Thiessen of Thiessen Law Firm. Here’s why.
DUID Colorado defenses: What Mark Thiessen can do for you
Depending on the specifics of your case, an experienced DUI or DWAI lawyer like Mark Thiessen can possibly invoke various defense strategies in your case, including:
- Proving that the police lacked probable cause when pulling you over
- Proving the officer had no reasonable basis to give you a blood test
- Establishing that the blood test was not administered properly by the officer
- Questioning the accuracy of blood tests for THC
- Casting doubt on whether or not your driving was not affected by marijuana use but for another reason
- Proving that the prosecution tried to use your registered medical marijuana card as evidence that you were under the influence of marijuana
Facing a charge for a marijuana DUI in Colorado is not something to take lightly. Only the best attorneys will be able to convince the court to grant you your freedom. The best of the best is Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law firm.
Mark is Board Certified in both DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense (as approved through the American Bar Association) and DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association. In addition, Mark has also earned the American Chemical Society-Chemistry and the Law’s (ACS-CHAL) Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designation — the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers.
These board certifications and titles mean that Mark Thiessen has the expertise, experience, and knowledge to do what other attorneys cannot. His pristine knowledge of Colorado law along with his scientific background allows him to create defense strategies that the prosecution will never see coming. If you want an attorney who is obsessed with winning, hire Mark Thiessen.
Thiessen Law Firm Can Handle Your Marijuana DUI Colorado Case
Recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but drugged driving isn’t. Before you decide to light up and drive, remember how severe the consequences can be. If you do find yourself facing a marijuana DUI Colorado or DUID Colorado charge, contact Mark Thiessen from Thiessen Law Firm as soon as possible. He will fight harder than any attorney to win a “Not Guilty” verdict so that you can keep your driving privileges and your freedom.
Call Mark Thiessen at 970-233-9000 or contact us online today for a FREE case evaluation.