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How Can Police Prove You Were Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?

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Posted By | February 1 2023 | Criminal Defense

As states across the U.S continue to legalize the sale of marijuana, issues related to driving under the influence of cannabis start to increase. Many states are starting to implement various testing mechanisms to be utilized by officers in a DUI stop.

Though, there are no on-site tests that are widely accepted by courts. The best way to test is through a blood test, but even then, that does not necessarily show a driver was under the influence of cannabis at that exact moment. If you have been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of cannabis, the attorneys at McAdams Law Office can help explain your rights.

Are there Marijuana Field Sobriety Tests?

If an officer in Colorado suspects a driver of being under the influence of marijuana, that is enough probable cause to pull someone over. The first thing they will do is administer a field sobriety test, similar to testing for alcohol.

A field sobriety test is a set of exercises used by police during Marijuana DUI investigations to determine whether or not a driver is impaired. Field sobriety tests are used by Colorado law enforcement officers to determine whether or not to arrest someone suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Officers in Colorado use various types of field sobriety tests. The “horizontal gaze nystagmus test,” “walk and turn test,” and “one-leg stand” are the three “standardized” tests that all officers commonly use. The horizontal gaze test is a basic eye test, where an officer asks the driver to follow an object only using their eyes.

Court-Accepted Marijuana Tests

Currently, there is no separate code section for DUIs involving suspicion of marijuana. If a person is pulled over based on marijuana use, courts allow blood tests (including saliva or urine) tests. This is generally the only accepted proof the court will allow.

There are certain saliva tests that officers can use at the scene to test for marijuana, but they are not always accepted as concrete proof of a DUI. These tests are generally used in addition to requesting a blood test be done within two hours of the stop.

Though, because marijuana can stay in someone’s bloodstream or body for days after ingesting it, there are issues with marijuana testing. All DUIs are governed by the same laws in Colorado, regardless of the substance, and are subjected to the same stop procedures and testing.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Colorado Statistics

Driving high can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Many people do not believe this to be true and will drive their vehicle after or while smoking because the effects are different.

In the most recently reported year, 17.6% of all Colorado drivers have admitted to driving within 2-3 hours of cannabis use. Additionally, in the same report, there were 48 roadway fatalities that involved the use of cannabis.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is harder to prove, and there are multiple defenses that an attorney can employ when defending someone arrested or pull-over for cannabis use. Even though there are ways to defend, it is still best to avoid the use of drugs or alcohol when driving.

Hiring a DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney

The DUI & Criminal Defense attorneys at McAdams Law Offices will aggressively fight to uphold your rights. Even if you have been charged or convicted, our attorneys can help overturn a conviction if you were found to be driving under the influence of marijuana.

Contact our officer at (970)-353-0000 to discuss your case and go over your rights.

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