Colorado marijuana laws say that anything over five nanograms of active Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the system at the time of driving would be considered driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or marijuana. Anything under five nanograms would not be considered driving under the influence.
Marijuana and alcohol DUI cases are different because, with an alcohol DUI, the level of alcohol in the blood is set at 0.08. For a DWAI, officers look for a level of 0.05, and that is very easily measured by blood or breath. If the person is over that level, they may be charged.
With marijuana, every person is different. There are specific defenses to driving under the influence of marijuana that would not necessarily work with driving under the influence of alcohol. It depends on the person.
If a person is accused of driving with over five nanograms of active THC in their system, they should consult with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer. A mountain communities marijuana DUI lawyer will look at other factors that contribute to the incident, such as bad driving or failure of road side, if they had consumed alcohol with the marijuana, or if they are underage. There are many different factors they should discuss with a lawyer right away, regardless of the circumstance. Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson can help you understand what options are available before going forward.
If a person is a chronic smoker of medical marijuana, it can inflate their active nanograms of THC in their blood. For example, somebody who smokes every single day is going to have more active THC in their bloodstream than someone who smokes once a month just because of the buildup overtime. Their nanograms of THC will be higher in their bloodstreams. That does not mean that they are more under the influence of marijuana just because they have more THC in their system. This can be a possible defense, because they may have developed high levels of tolerance.
Facts to consider in a marijuana DUI case include the person’s medical issues, how long they have smoked marijuana, the amount that they take, what the officer said in the report, video evidence, witness testimony, and more.
The prosecution in a marijuana DUI case must prove that the person was driving under the influence of drugs, that they were substantially incapable of operating a motor vehicle, and that their level was over five nanograms of active THC.
One difference between alcohol and marijuana DUIs is that officers do not have a way to test marijuana via breath. The only way to do it is by blood. They look for what is active in their system at time. Once the person has metabolized the THC, then there is THC that is leftover. These are fact-specific cases that deal with the driving, the road side, and the presence of a drug recognition expert. They are not going to do that for alcohol because a drug recognition expert is specifically looking for drugs in the system.
DUIs for marijuana are based on the level of active nanograms of THC in a person’s system. If they have for than five nanograms in their system, the police will probably charge them. Since driving under the influence of marijuana has the same penalties as a person under the influence of alcohol, it is important to contact a marijuana DUI attorney. They could collect evidence and determine any mitigating factors to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Often, these cases are beatable and so contacting a mountain communities marijuana DUI lawyer would highly increase your chances of being able to get acquitted of these charges.
Call today to learn about how Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Petterson could fight for you.