On behalf of Anaya-McKedy, P.C. posted in DUI on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Were you one of the many Colorado residents who cheered the passing of the law that made recreational use of marijuana legal here in the state? Having the option to enjoy the buzz (and the potential medicinal benefits) of this drug without worrying about getting arrested may have made your year.
However, the ability to use marijuana doesn’t negate the fact that you can’t drive while high. Not only is doing so dangerous for you and others on the road, but you could also end up facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs.
The dangers of using marijuana and driving
Using marijuana may not kill your brain cells, but it does have certain effects on your brain. If you drive while high, you do so with the following impediments:
- Distance and time impairment
- Diminished judgment
- Slowed reaction time
- Reduced coordination
- Reduced attention span
- Increased weaving
Driving under these conditions creates the right conditions for an accident that could potentially be serious or fatal. If you add alcohol to the mix, the situation only gets worse.
The facts behind using marijuana and driving
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health done in 2016 indicates that nearly 11.8 million people over the age of 16 got behind the wheel after using drugs. The majority of those drivers were men and were between the ages of 18 and 25. Marijuana is second only to alcohol in making up the numbers of crashes involving the use of illicit substances and then driving.
The legal problems with using marijuana and driving
Like many other recreational marijuana users, you probably refrain from driving while you enjoy your buzz, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still end up in the back seat of a patrol car after a traffic stop. This is because unlike alcohol, marijuana remains in your system days after you last used it. Any trace amount in your blood could result in DUID charges.
Law enforcement agencies are still searching for a reliable way to measure THC in a roadside test just as they do alcohol, but so far, no accurate method exists. This means that you may need to spend more time defending yourself of a DUID charge involving marijuana than you would for alcohol.
Taking quick action to sort out the details regarding the traffic stop and subsequent arrest could make all the difference. It may also help to have experienced and aggressive representation on your side as soon as possible.