In Colorado, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. However, many people are unsure about how marijuana affects their driving ability. Some people believe that marijuana makes them a better driver because they are more careful and aware of their surroundings. Others believe that marijuana impairs their cognitive skills and makes them more likely to get into an accident. So, what does the research say?
Marijuana and Driving Ability
Research on the effects of marijuana on driving ability is still in its early stages, but there are some studies that have been conducted. One study found that drivers who had used marijuana were more likely to veer off the road and make other mistakes while driving. Another study found that drivers who had used marijuana were more likely to get into accidents than drivers who had not used marijuana.
However, it’s worth noting that marijuana can be detected in a person’s bloodstream for days or even weeks at some point, so it would be important to also study the levels in the blood. Regardless, it’s clear that there is a correlation between marijuana use and motor vehicle accidents.
Marijuana use can have a number of effects on your ability to drive safely. First and foremost, marijuana impairs your cognitive function. This means that your judgment, decision-making, and ability to process information are all affected when you are under the influence of marijuana. Additionally, marijuana slows your reaction time. This is problematic because it takes longer for you to brake or swerve if necessary. Both effects can lead to accidents.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Colorado
In Colorado, it is illegal to drive with more than five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood in your system. If you are pulled over and an officer suspects that you are impaired, you will be asked to submit to a blood test. If your test results show that you have more than five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood in your system, you can be convicted with driving under the influence of marijuana.
This means that you could be charged with and convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana even if you didn’t smoke directly before getting behind the wheel.
Officers will look for signs of impairment like red eyes, slurred speech, or erratic behavior. They may also administer field sobriety tests which, while not completely accurate when it comes to testing for marijuana impairment, may be used as evidence against a driver in court.
The Consequences of a Marijuana DUI Are Serious
If you are convicted of a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana, you could face serious consequences including jail time, fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car and attend drug education classes.
In Colorado, there is a mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time DUI offense, which includes 5 days in jail up to one year (though the court can suspend the jail sentence if they wish). You also face fines of up to $1,000. Penalties for subsequent DUIs are even harsher.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, contact our office to speak with a criminal defense attorney. We can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.