DUID Urine Tests in Colorado
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Urine tests are only used in Colorado for suspected DUID cases. Urine tests are most common when the officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs such as prescription medications, cannabis, narcotics, etc. However, urine tests are very rare as urine can only prove past consumption, not impairment.
Comparing Alcohol & Drug Impairment
The difference between DUI involving alcohol and DUI involving drugs is that DUID cases do not have a specific per se law. There is no magic number for the state to hang their hat on like suspected alcohol cases. Colorado says it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .05 or greater and .08 for DUI. There is no specific impairment or under the influence level for drugs, except the permissible inference law for THC or Marijuana which is current set at 5ng/ml.
The indicators for alcohol intoxication are much different than those of drug intoxication, which often poses a problem. The officer making the arrest is often not qualified and/or not trained to identify drug impairment. If this is the case, the defense has the power to stop the officer from testifying about how your performance on roadside tests equate to impairment. However, an increasing number of cases are calling another officer who has this skill to examine the individual in question. Also known as a drug recognition expert, or DRE, this officer is trained specifically to identify the symptoms of numerous drugs. A qualified DRE can testify with the symptoms of the drugs, and the resulting impairments.
DUID & Prescription Drugs
An important fact to note: the issue is not the drug in use, but the impairment it may cause on the driver. DUID cases do not always involve dangerous, illegal drugs or narcotics. The drugs used by the accused could be over-the-counter products (NyQuil™ or Benadryl®, for example) or legally prescribed medicines. The attention is on the driver's mental stability and physical capabilities to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The prosecution must prove that you were impaired or under the influence of drugs which should be quite difficult for them to do with a urine test. Because of the evidentiary and scientific principles surrounding urine tests it is critical that you discuss your case with a Denver DUI attorney who has experience handling and defending DUI drug cases.
Request your free consultation with The Orr Law Firm at (303) 747-4247.