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Colorado’s THC Impaired Driving Law

By Timothy Bussey on March 2, 2017

marijuana-lawWhen Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1325 into law in 2013, it established minimum levels of THC, or “tetrahydrocannabinol,” the active ingredient in marijuana, in one’s blood for them to be considered Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID). Under the law, a driver whose THC level exceeds five nanograms of active THC per one milliliter of blood is considered to be driving while “stoned.”

House Bill 1325 also allows drivers who have been charged with DUID to argue whether they were impaired at the five nanogram level or not. Unlike blood alcohol content (BAC), THC levels are not an accurate indicator of driver impairment, because THC can linger in a user’s blood for longer periods of time. Normally, the level of THC in the blood is extremely high at first, and then drops off after two to six hours. Some studies suggest that habitual users can sustain a THC level of five nanograms for days after use.

Colorado’s legislature has recognized that it’s almost impossible to determine actual impairment from a blood test under the current blood testing technology. This is why the legislature wrote the bill in a manner allowing users to argue whether their THC level amounted to actual impairment or not. The ability to argue one’s level of impairment is important because tests for THC levels in blood are highly inaccurate. In fact, THC testing has been shown to have a 30 percent margin of error.

Because Colorado’s laws determining impaired driving are still being hammered out, it would be easy to be unfairly convicted of a DUID. A DUID conviction could result in your insurance premiums being raised, fines, court costs, jail time, and damage to your name and reputation. Don’t let this happen. Colorado’s House Bill 1325 allows you to fight a DUID charge and avoid these consequences. To ensure that you have a solid case to present at your hearing, it is vital that you get representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Timothy Bussey of Colorado Springs’ The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has been successfully defending clients for over 25 years. Let him and his legal team put their experience to work on your case. Call (719) 475-2555 today, for a free case evaluation.

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