The fact that marijuana is a legal drug in Colorado doesn’t change the fact that you can be arrested for driving under the influence of that drug.
More Stoned Drivers
Legalized marijuana in Colorado will increase the pool of stoned drivers. There is nothing in Amendment 64 that changes laws prohibiting driving while stoned. Doubtless, police throughout the state will now increase the number of DUID (Driving Under Influence of Drugs) police, meaning law enforcement officers who specialize in stopping, detaining, testing and charging drivers under the influence of drugs.
How Police Evaluate Stoned Drivers
Does testing a driver suspected of being high on marijuana differ from testing a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol? In some ways, yes. For example, an officer might do a swab test where the person’s tongue is checked for marijuana residue.
Other evaluations are similar to assessing a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol: The officers look for slurred speech, red eyes, impaired movement and the presence of Cheetos in the car. Okay, kidding about the Cheetos.
The Federal Government Will Make an Example of Colorado
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado is not going to make the Federal government happy. Why? Because the possession and distribution of pot is illegal under Federal law. How does this affect Colorado? Look for large Federal grants to local law enforcement agencies to take stoned drivers off the roads in Colorado. In other words, the Federal government will want a high rate of DUID convictions so that they can show other states what a bad idea it is to legalize cannibis.
There are many complicated issues in a DUID case, including constitutional and medical components. Denver defense attorney Shaun Kaufman has multiple decades of experience in sorting through these issues and resolving such cases favorably for its clients. To contact Shaun Kaufman Law, call 303-309-0430 or fill out the contact form on the right side of this page.
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