Return To Blog

Denver Criminal Lawyer Answers Common Questions About Marijuana Use and DUI Charges


April 18, 2018

When it comes to driving under the influence, most people are familiar with the legal ramifications of drinking and driving. However, with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, residents are becoming increasingly more aware and concerned about the legal issues of driving after using cannabis. Like alcohol, cannabis can impair your ability to drive safely. However, since legalization is relatively new, it’s important that you understand the ins and outs of legal cannabis use so you can be prepared and better avoid getting charged with a DUI for marijuana use. Your trusted Denver criminal defense lawyer answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding marijuana and DUI charges.

Can I be charged if I’m a medical marijuana user?

Though some states, like Arizona, have made exceptions for medical marijuana users charged with DUIs, Colorado does not yet differentiate between medical and recreational use when DUIs are concerned. If you’re found to be under the influence whether you smoke recreationally or use marijuana for medical purposes, you can be charged with a DUI.

What type of test will law enforcement use to see if I’m over the legal limit?

When it comes to testing for marijuana, there are two main testing methods: urine analysis and blood analysis. Though a urine test is enough to verify drug use for a potential employer, it’s not considered accurate enough for law enforcement. This is because marijuana can show up in your urine for several days after the date of last use. If you’re arrested for driving under the influence, law enforcement will perform a blood test to assess the level of pot in your system. If the test shows that you had 5 nanograms of THC in your blood, you may be charged with a DUI.

What happens if I refuse the blood test?

Your first step should be to call an attorney, but if you do refuse the blood test, you may end up losing your license. Keep in mind that each situation is unique and your best bet for maintaining your rights and your license is to work with an experienced DUI attorney.

Are there rules for driving with weed in my car?

Yes. Just like alcohol, you’re not allowed to have an open container in the front seat. If you’re pulled over and an officer sees an extinguished joint, they can arrest you under suspicion of driving under the influence. If you have open products, place them as far back in the vehicle as possible, completely out of reach while you’re driving.  However, you are permitted to drive with sealed containers in the front seat.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you don’t have to navigate the legal process alone. At the Law Office of John L. Buckley, PC, our experienced staff will help you prepare the best defense for your case. Remember, marijuana legalization regulations are still new and we believe everyone deserves fair and reliable representation, no matter how severe the charges are. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.