Suspected Of DUI/DUID Involving Marijuana?

Marijuana is now legal in Colorado, but you can still be charged with DUID — Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. This new frontier of DUI defense law demands that you never walk into a courtroom without an aggressive defense lawyer.

At Hernandez & Associates, P.C., we aggressively defend criminal charges. Our Denver attorneys also consider how charges could affect anyone with immigration status issues. If you are facing charges involving marijuana and DUI or DUID, call our experienced team now to discuss your case at 303-536-5134.

What Are The Police Looking For?

When you are suspected of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana, the police are not looking to determine your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). Rather the police are looking for your level of active nanograms of THC (the chemical in marijuana that gets you high) present in your blood. If you recently smoked marijuana you will have THC in your blood that will be measured in nanograms.

Police officers and DAs usually look to two main areas when attempting to gather enough evidence to prove a DUID case.

  1. A drug recognition expert's observations and roadside maneuvers
  2. A blood or urine test

A talented DUID defense lawyer at Hernandez & Associates, P.C., will also be able to dissect these issues with surgical precision in order to fight for your freedom. Call our Denver office to discuss your situation at 303-536-5134.

What Does A Drug Recognition Expert Do?

A Colorado Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) is a law enforcement officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. Not every cop is a Drug Recognition Expert, and an ordinary police officer will not have as much experience with marijuana and the clues an impaired driver may exhibit.

If a Drug Recognition Expert is present at the time of your arrest they may ask you to perform a voluntary Drug Recognition Evaluation. This voluntary evaluation is much more clinical than the standard set of roadside tests. It can include actually measuring your pupil size, monitoring heart rate, your reaction to different levels of light, and a variety of other specialized tests to aid in the prosecution of your case.

How Has Marijuana Legalization Affected Law Enforcement?

In response to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, law enforcement agencies are making a significant push to identify and stop stoned driving. The Colorado State Patrol is increasing its efforts to certify many more officers as Drug Recognition Experts.

A Drug Recognition Expert will know better than an ordinary officer to look for certain indications that may suggest someone is impaired by marijuana. For example, marijuana and other cannabis products impair the attention process. Your ability to perform the divided attention tasks will diminish while under the influence of marijuana.

Even if the DA does not have a Drug Recognition Expert fighting against your case, you will still benefit from an expert DUID — Marijuana defense lawyer from Hernandez & Associates, P.C. A trained DUID — Marijuana defense lawyer will be able to examine your case and look for the presence, as well as the absence, of such clues that show you may be under the influence of marijuana.

For example, typical indicators can include:

  1. Reddening of conjunctiva
  2. Disorientation
  3. Body tremors
  4. Pupil size generally dilated, but sometimes can be normal
  5. Relaxed inhibitions
  6. Nystagmus generally will not present

Tough Standards Set For Blood And Urine Tests

The state of Colorado enacted very tough standards for marijuana blood levels shortly after marijuana was legalized. These standards now state in CRS 42-4-1301:

"If at such time the driver's blood contained 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood, by analysis of the defendant's blood, such fact gives rise to a permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of one or more drugs."

Simply speaking, only a little bit of marijuana can land you in hot water with the police. If you are a regular marijuana smoker then you are in greater risk of being charged with DUID, as 5 nanograms is a low DUID threshold.

Urine tests are not typically used in DUID cases anymore as they do not show present impairment. In other words, urine does not show what is currently impacting your brain. If you are fighting a DUID and you did a urine test you must hire an aggressive DUID defense lawyer to fight against this faulty test.

What Happens If I Refuse A Roadside Sobriety Test?

Roadside sobriety tests are completely voluntary. Therefore you will not be penalized if you refuse to perform any of these tests.

However, if you are suspected of a Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana and you refuse to do a blood test, then you will face a lengthier driver's license suspension. Additionally, CRS 42-4-1301(6)(d) states that the district attorney may use your refusal to do the blood test against you in trial.

If you find yourself in the position where you refused to take a blood test, and the police and DA are labeling your case as a refusal, you still have a defense. You must remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the district attorney. A talented and aggressive defense attorney at Hernandez & Associates, P.C., will be able to craft your defense at trial and hold the prosecutor to their high and hard burden. Call us at 303-536-5134 or email our offices to set up a consultation.

The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this website or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Hernandez & Associates and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.