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Colorado DUI enforcement officers experiment with roadside marijuana testing


Colorado State Patrol troopers are experimenting with new technology that is aimed at detecting the presence of marijuana in drivers.  After getting arrested on suspicion of driving while high, some Colorado DUI suspects are also being asked "Would you like to be a volunteer in our DUI marijuana pilot program?"

As a Denver DUI defense attorney, I recommend that you answer "No thank you."

The State Patrol is testing these devices in the hopes that they can determine whether someone was driving while high.  To be clear, this technology is experiemental and is not scientifically valid.  You can tell because Colorado courts have not ruled this evidence to be admissible in jury trials.  A similar roadside breathalyzer test for alcohol is also considerd not scientifically reliable and should also be refused by those who are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

This new marijuana program began in March and is trying out five devices. The technology uses a driver's saliva in an attempt to determine whether there are drugs in his or her system and to measure the amount.  The Colorado legislature has determined that the legal limit for impairment by marijuana is 5 nanograms of active THC in the blood, although that limit is a presumption only and Colorado DUI lawyers have challenged it in court.

Studies have yet to conclude that marijuana legalization has increased impaired driving.