You can toke, but you can’t drive to the store for munchies later

You and your friends may be thrilled that using marijuana on a recreational basis is now legal in Colorado. Perhaps, you’ve already enjoyed a few parties or simply look forward to smoking a joint on the weekend after a long work week is over. The law says that’s your business, so long as you adhere to regulations. As a conscientious resident, the last thing you want to do is get high then drive a motor vehicle, not only because it’s dangerous but because it’s illegal.

Smoking marijuana for fun is a highly controversial topic throughout the nation. Laws can be confusing as well. Federal law prohibits marijuana possession and you can get in trouble when conflicts arise between state and federal regulations. Therefore, seeking clarification of driving laws pertaining to marijuana ahead of time may prevent major legal problems down the line.

Driving high a major no-go according to state law

You and your friends may joke about the after effects of smoking pot. Many people describe feeling almost uncontrollably hungry and going on major eating binges as their highs wear off. Although you may find such stories amusing, it’s crucial to remember that you can’t simply dash out your door and drive to your local convenience store for snacks if you have THC in your bloodstream. Keeping the following in mind may help you avoid legal problems:

  • If your blood registers 5ng/ml or higher for THC, the court can infer that you were driving while impaired.
  • You cannot use the fact that recreational use of marijuana is legal in this state to fight impaired driving charges in court.
  • Colorado operates under implied consent laws, meaning you cannot refuse a lawfully requested chemical test without incurring automatic penalties.
  • Implied consent automates administrative action only, not any type of legal action in court.

If you refuse to take a chemical test that a police offer lawfully requests, penalties may include driver’s license suspension, fines or even jail time. If you’re one of many people glad about marijuana legalization in Colorado, you no doubt want to imbibe in a responsible manner that keeps you and others as safe as possible.

The long-term consequences of getting arrested and charged with impaired driving involving marijuana in your bloodstream may vary according to your individual circumstances. For instance, if it’s a first offense, the penalties will likely not be as severe as subsequent offenses. You don’t have to go it alone in court either, as a simple request for legal representation for your criminal charges, can provide you with all the resources you need to try to get life back on track and avoid conviction.

About Eric Anaya

Criminal Defense Attorney Eric S. AnyaEric Anaya has been practicing criminal law for over a decade. While attending law school, Eric was appointed to the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents by the Governor of New Mexico. Eric decided to move to Colorado to accept a position in the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office. He prosecuted hundreds of cases in County Court, but quickly was promoted to prosecute felonies. Eric made the conscious decision to change his practice and his life to defending those wrongly accused. Eric has successfully handled hundreds of cases.

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2018-11-05T11:03:56-07:00September 29th, 2017|DUI|