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How Do Colorado Police Test for Stoned Driving?

close up on cop car lights

Ever since Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana, road safety advocates have become increasingly concerned about a rise in driving under the influence of marijuana and what effect, if any, this trend might have on fatal traffic accidents. The state currently defines 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood as the threshold for when stoned driving occurs. And while debate continues over whether this legal limit is scientifically accurate -- not to mention whether or not marijuana increases risks of fatal car crashes at all -- it's important that all Colorado drivers know full well what happens if and when they are stopped by police on suspicions of driving stoned.

Local news publication The Cannabist reports that when Colorado police arrest a driver for driving while high, they are brought to either jail, a hospital or a detox facility to meet with a licensed phlebotomist, who then draws a blood sample to determine intoxication levels. After the blood test is finished, the suspect is then incarcerated, brought to detox or released to a sober party.

Refusing to comply with this blood test raises a whole new slew of issues. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT):

"Colorado revokes driving privileges for any individual who fails to cooperate with the chemical testing process requested by an officer during the investigation of an alcohol or drug-related DUI arrest," writes the CDOT's website. "Any driver who refuses to take a blood test will immediately be considered a high-risk driver. Consequences include: mandatory ignition interlock for two years, and level two alcohol education and therapy classes as specified by law. These penalties are administrative, and are applied regardless of a criminal conviction."

If you ever find yourself pulled over on suspicions of stoned driving, cooperate with the officers and then contact The Orr Law Firm for expert legal representation that specializes in Colorado marijuana law.