In the state of Colorado, marijuana is legal for adult recreational use. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal. Police are pulling over and arresting drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, but the charges are often dropped when the case goes to trial. Why is this?
The Problem Prosecutors Face
Prosecutors have a difficult time proving that drivers are impaired by marijuana use at the time of the arrest. Unlike alcohol, which has proven, measurable impairments that are easy to detect using blood tests and breathalyzers, marijuana is much harder to detect. It is not linked with a certain level of impairment, and can have different effects on individual users. This makes it hard for prosecutors to convince juries that DUI defendants were physically and mentally impaired while driving under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana releases a chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) into the bloodstream. In Colorado, it is illegal to drive with more than 5 nanograms of THC in your system. Police pull over and perform blood tests to detect amounts of THC, and they make arrests based on these findings. However, the main problem that prosecutors face is proving a direct link between THC levels and measurable performance-impairing effects. The dosage and concentrations vary for each person, and THC can pass rapidly through the system, sometimes in a matter of hours. The pattern of use also influences the amount and effect of THC on each individual person, making it nearly impossible to make conclusive statements about the impairing effects of THC.
Call Our Denver DUI Lawyers Today at (720) 619-2676
At Orr Law Firm, we are committed to aggressively representing clients in the courtroom. If you have been charged with a DUI for alcohol consumption or marijuana use, our Denver DUI attorneys can help. We have years of experience and know that time is of the essence. Our firm can work quickly to understand your options and develop a strategy for your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation.