Should marijuana be regulated like alcohol for motorists who get behind the wheel? The debate regarding whether drivers in Colorado should be prohibited from driving with a certain amount of THC – the active chemical ingredient found in marijuana – in their bloodstream has gained traction since the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state.As we have discussed in an earlier post, many are against setting specific limits for the amount of THC allowed in the bloodstream while driving. Despite all of the criticism surrounding the marijuana DUI bill, the Colorado House passed the legislation earlier this month.

House Bill 1114 would prohibit motorists from getting behind the wheel if they have 5 nanograms of THC in their blood. The bill’s sponsor stated that the legislation was meant to improve traffic safety across Colorado. Many argue, however, that the level of allowable THC is not high enough and would unfairly affect a large number of marijuana users.

Although the standard may be too low, the bill allows those charged with
driving under the influence of marijuana to provide evidence that they were not impaired while behind the wheel. Motorists facing such charges would be able to rebut the driving under the influence charge by showing that they were not driving unsafely.

Opponents of the bill also argue that there is not enough evidence to prove that drivers’ ability to operate motor vehicles worsens when a specific amount of THC is in the bloodstream.

When someone is facing drugged driving charges, consulting with a criminal defense attorney is a wise step to ensure a strong dui defense is established.

Source: Huffington Post, ”
Too Stoned to Drive? Marijuana DUI Bill Passes Colorado House,” Matt Ferner, April 2, 2013.