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Driving while high can bring serious consequences

Posted on March 16, 2017

Despite the fact that the recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, it remains illegal to drive while under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol. If caught, a drugged driver will face arrest for DUI and criminal charges. Those facing this unfortunate legal situation would be wise to confront any charges related to driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) by seeking legal help as soon as possible.

What are the penalties for DUID in Colorado?

The penalties for DUID are steep and have the ability to make a significant impact on your life and future opportunities. Like any type of drunk driving charge, drugged driving can bring both financial and criminal penalties that include the following:

  • Significant fines
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Jail time

Some law enforcement personnel have received training specifically to recognize the signs of drugged driving. These drug recognition experts (DREs) can supposedly detect the signs of a driver impaired by drugs, but their perceptions and determinations may not be correct. DREs also heavily rely on chemical tests to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs.

Colorado law demands that every driver submit to a chemical test if the officer suspects drug or alcohol use. Refusal to submit will result in the loss of driver’s license and the label as a persistent drunk driver. The license suspension will last for a period of one year, an ignition interlock device is mandatory for two years and alcohol and drug classes are a requirement.

Fighting back against DUID charges

It is daunting to face criminal charges of any kind, especially one that can result in expensive fines and perhaps even land you behind bars. Your future and your freedom are on the line, but with quick action and an experienced legal ally advocating on your behalf, you may be able to push back, mitigate some of the penalties you face and fight for your future.

The elements of your defense will largely depend on the individual circumstances of your case, but they may include the following:

Challenging the legality and validity of the suspected impaired driving traffic stop

  • Challenging the conclusions drawn by the DRE
  • Discrediting the search and seizure procedure
  • Challenging law enforcement’s interpretation of probable cause

DUID is serious, but it is possible to minimize or entirely avoid the consequences of a conviction. Before you plead guilty or agree to a plea offer, make sure you know all of your options and ensure that your rights are fully protected.