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Breckenridge Criminal Defense Law Blog

Did you have all bases covered until the identification request?

You may be one of many young adults who attend college in Colorado. You may also be among those who were really glad when state laws changed to make marijuana legal in this state. You figured that since the law included medical and recreational use of the drug, you'd be able to purchase some or use it in a private setting with friends from time to time. You had read about the potential benefits and wanted to experiment.

Since the written amendment includes the term Tetrahydrocannabinol (often referred to as THC) you understood this to mean that not only is it legal to use the flower bud of the marijuana plant, but also topical forms, edible products, concentrates or seeds. So long as you adhered to all restrictions when you made your purchase and while using marijuana, there shouldn't have been a problem. If, however, you did not possess a valid form of identification showing that you are age 21 or above, that's another ballgame altogether.

Two drinks may be fine for you and beyond legal limit for others

Let's say you spent the evening enjoying the company of good friends at one of your favorite local Colorado restaurants. It was one of those places that has televisions hanging throughout the room, which made it easy for you to socialize and follow the NFL game on TV. You were having a great time and decided to order a couple of beers during your meal. You know you have a high tolerance for alcohol, so you didn't really think there would be a problem if you drove home later.

You stayed at the restaurant several hours after you consumed the second beer and drank copious amounts of coffee within that time. You were confident of your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Since your home is located only about 10 minutes from your party location, you knew you would not be behind the wheel for any great length of time. This is where blood alcohol content level comes in since two beers for one motorist may be fine while posing a serious legal problem for another.

Do I have to give a breath sample?

Police in Colorado utilize chemical and other tests in order to determine if people are driving while impaired. If the police ever pull you over for suspected impairment, you may feel that you have to submit to such testing. The simple truth is, you do not have to supply a breath sample if you do not want to.

Taking breath samples to determine impairment is something law enforcement officers have done for years. The court believes this to be an accurate way to determine if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol. Why believed accurate, it is not 100 percent. False positives are possible and can lead to unnecessary arrests and convictions.

The many consequences of a DUI conviction

Maybe you remember one night driving home after a party when you knew you shouldn't have been behind the wheel. In the morning, you may have laughed with friends about the risk you took, and avoiding disaster presented you with a challenge for the next time. If you can do it once, you can do it again.

What's the big deal? A banged-up fender or a scratch on the side of your car is not that serious, even if you don't really remember how they got there. However, if you stop to consider the consequences you could face if you continue to take the chance that you won't get caught drinking and driving, you may find that the challenge isn't so exciting.

Hypoglycemic? You may be at risk for false positive BAC results

If a police officer were to pull you over on a Colorado roadway, let's say because he or she claims your car was veering too close to the yellow line in the center of the highway, you may be in for a very long night. Perhaps you were on your way home from a social evening with friends. You knew you'd be driving, so you abstained from alcohol. You might think of the irony of that situation when the officer asks you to step out of your car.

At first, you might not be overly concerned because you know the strongest thing you had to drink was some water with a sprig of mint. Your blood pressure might rise a bit, however, if the officer requests that you hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder length and walk a straight line with one heel in front of the toes on the other foot. When the officer asks you to breathe into an electronic device, you know things might get a lot worse before they get better.

Moodiness and teenagers go hand in hand, and sometimes, drugs

Were you one of many parents in Colorado who couldn't get a teenager out of bed until noon last weekend? You likely didn't make too big of a deal out of it as you recalled your own youth and how sleep was at the top of your list of priorities back then. In fact, it might have stayed at the top of your list had you not become a parent.

Somehow, it seems the day before you held your first child in your arms was the last time you had a full night's sleep. Since then, life has been full of adventure and reward, as well as some significant challenges, as you raised your children and tried your best to give them a good foundation. The problem is, you're not sure your teenager's apparent fatigue is normal or a sign of a more serious, underlying issue, such as drug abuse.

You came to Breckenridge for the skiing -- and marijuana

Since Colorado changed its constitution back in 2014 to allow recreational use of marijuana within the state, many vacationers take the opportunity to partake in its use while they are here. For legal adults, this could be the opportunity to see "what all the fuss is about."

For those who use marijuana medicinally, coming to Breckenridge is an opportunity to freely use it as well. In fact, Breckenridge has been ahead of the marijuana curve for decades now. Medical marijuana use began back in 1994, so when the constitutional change took effect on Jan. 1, 2014, the town's four dispensaries were ready to go. Even though it's not illegal, there are some caveats for visitors to the area.

A DUI arrest could temporarily stop your driving privileges

Driving privileges are invaluable. After all, they essentially enable you to provide for yourself and/or your family by getting to your place of employment every day. If you work as a commercial driver, driving privileges provide your livelihood. Losing your driving privileges can also be devastating if you are responsible for getting the children to school or have no other way of making your medical appointments. In addition, just the thought of losing the freedom that comes with being able to drive can be demoralizing in and of itself.

Unfortunately, your driving privileges could easily disappear as a result of a charge of drunk driving. Likewise, your privileges may be in jeopardy due to a repeat DUI offense or a reported connection to an accident involving driving under the influence. In this situation, you have the right to state your case before the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles in administrative hearings.

The cough syrup that can land you in jail

No matter where in Colorado you reside, you likely have stores near you that sell cough syrup or other cough and cold medications. In fact, you've probably taken this type of medicine at least several times over the course of your life. If you're a parent, you may even have offered such medicines to your children in times of illness. Some cough syrup is available by prescription only; this kind is often used to treat very painful throat infections or viruses.

Surprisingly, such medication has led many people into trouble with the law. As with all prescription medicines, prescription cough syrup is only legally allowed to be consumed by the person for whom the prescription is written. If you give your medicine to someone else to use or you sell it on the street, police can charge you with a crime.

Should Good Samaritan law apply to your situation?

Though doing the right thing should feel like a simple act, it more often proves difficult for many people. Certain circumstances may make you fear repercussions that you could face when trying to help another person. Unfortunately, you could potentially get caught up in a legal predicament if you step in to help someone only to have the situation shed a negative light on you.

One example in which you and many others may feel hesitant to act relates to drug overdoses. When a family member, friend or even you suffer the negative effects of an overdose, you may quickly realize that you need help. Due to the potential for criminal charges, you and others may hesitate to call 911. However, certain laws may work to protect you in such cases.

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