Question: What is the legal limit for THC in Colorado?
Answer: If you are arrested for DUI in Colorado and the police officer suspects you are under the influence of marijuana, a blood test will be requested. Should the results of that blood test be 5 nanograms or more of Delta(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Colorado’s DUI law allows a judge or jury to infer that you were under the influence and not able to safely operate a motor vehicle.
If your blood test result was 5 nanograms or more of THC, there is no separate charge as there is in an alcohol-related DUI. If you were charged with DUI and had a breath or blood test for ethanol at .08 or more, you would be charged with a second DUI alleging excessive alcohol content. There is no separate excessive drug content or THC content charge in Colorado.
In addition to the lack of a separate DUI charge, there is also no separate administrative revocation for a DUI-D charge with a THC level at or over 5 nanograms. Because the DUI law does not recognize 5 nanograms as a “limit,” but only a “permissive inference,” there is no hard and fast line that causes a conviction.
What does this all mean? Not a whole lot if you are convicted of DUI-D in court. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs carries the same penalties and driver’s license consequences as an alcohol-related DUI. In addition, if your license is revoked for the DUI conviction, you must install an ignition interlock device to get back behind the wheel after the first month of the license revocation.
With the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado, law enforcement efforts are up to investigate and prosecute drugged driving cases. New federal grant money and additional drugged driving detection training are advancing Denver’s no tolerance polities when it comes to DUI cases.
On the other hand, advocates against the new DUI laws regarding THC assert that there is a lack of scientific agreement or research to justify a 5 nanogram inference in the criminal law. The limit failed previously in the legislature and has come under fire recently in the news for its scientific uncertainty.
Regardless of whether you agree with the DUI laws concerning marijuana, they are here to stay. The assistance of a Denver DUI attorney can be the difference between a DUI conviction and a good result that you can move forward from.