In Colorado, a person is guilty of a DUI marijuana charge if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs like marijuana.
A result of 5 ng/ml or higher of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in the suspected drugged driver’s blood will give rise to the inference that the person was driving drugged. This inference supports an arrest and charge for DUI marijuana.
Legal Marijuana Use Is Not An Affirmative Defense
Colorado laws explicitly ban the affirmative defense of legal or medical use of marijuana as a defense to a DUI marijuana charge.
This means that even if the suspected drunk driver used marijuana legally, if the suspected drunk driver’s blood test reads THC levels of 5 ng/ml or higher and the suspected drunk driver was driving a vehicle on a Colorado public roadway, legal use – even if for medicinal purposes – is not a defense to the charge.
Implied Consent to Breath and Blood Tests
When a law enforcement official requests a suspected drunk driver submit to a breath or blood test during a drunk or drugged driving investigation, the suspected drunk driver is required to submit to the requested test under the Express Consent Statute.
Declining the breath or blood test subjects the suspected drunk driver to administrative penalties such as driver’s’ license suspension or revocation and the requirement of the installation of a mandatory ignition interlock device in the suspected drugged driver’s vehicle.
Nonetheless, a warrant is needed to request a blood test for the determination of the level of alcohol and or drugs in the suspect’s blood stream. This apparent contradiction is still winding its way through Colorado Courts.
Just recently, the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that requesting a breathalyzer at the scene of a drunk driving investigation does not require a search warrant and does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s right to unreasonable searches and seizures.
Some jurisdictions have introduced legislation that refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test is an additional crime and can be added to the applicable DUI or DWAI charge. If you refused a chemical test, you will need competent counsel to defend your rights.
No Right to an Attorney Before Administration of Blood or Breath Tests
There is no right to consult with an attorney prior to taking a blood or breath test. If requested, the suspected drugged driver must comply with the request or face administrative penalties.
Evidence that a blood or breath test was refused is admissible at trial if the DUI marijuana is resolved at trial.
DUI MARIJUANA DEFENSE IN NORTHGLENN, COLORADO
At the law office of John Anderson, we represent people accused of DUI marijuana in the Northglenn area of Colorado.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI marijuana, contact us for a case evaluation.
Our firm will provide you with a comprehensive look at your case, what you can expect, and what steps are available to resolve your DUI Marijuana arrest. We also assist clients in Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Strasburg, Thornton, Westminster, and Bennett areas.