While Colorado’s relaxed drug laws are good news for consumers of soft recreational substances like cannabis, the legality of consumption does not extend to driving. In other words, it is best not to eat or smoke any form of tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, whenever in a vehicle.
When a police officer pulls someone over and suspects the person is under the influence of even a soft drug, it can lead to an arrest as well as a DUI charge. If this happens, there can be expensive fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and a negative record. To prevent this from happening, here are three things for soft drug-consuming drivers to know.
1. Medicinal use does not protect individuals from arrest
Today, there are approximately 87,000 registered medicinal cannabis users in the state of Colorado. While this status may offer some advantages, it does not protect patients from arrest if a police officer believes they are high while driving.
2. Law enforcement has the discretion to determine intoxication levels
Another aspect of the law that is worth noting is that police officers have the discretion to determine impairment. This can be problematic because, unlike alcohol, there is no way to test the exact amount of THC in someone’s blood. Additionally, THC shows up on test results long after a person is no longer high.
3. Arrests really do occur
Every day, law enforcement arrests more than 60 people for impaired driving. These arrests include both alcohol and drug use, including cannabis. Because many police departments have received advanced training in drug impairment detection, officers have been pulling over an increasing number of soft drug users.
When it comes down to it, the best way to avoid a DUI is to drive sober.