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Test for Driving While High

Test for Driving While High

By on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

Officer giving a field sobriety test to a brunette woman For a while, there was controversy on how a police officer could identify that someone was driving while high on marijuana after it was legalized in certain states like Colorado.

The argument is that even days after smoking weed, THC remains in the body, which would skew any results and lead to more DUID citations for drivers.

Probable Cause for Pulling a Driver Over

A police officer needs probable cause to pull someone over and those on the lookout for DUIs tend to find DUID drivers because they exhibit the same behaviors when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Probable cause means having enough information to support a reasonable belief that someone has, is, or about to commit a crime.

Driving while stoned or high is illegal because it impairs reaction time, hand-eye coordination, concentration and perception of time and distance, and short-term memory.

Often times, drivers under the influence will swerve across the road or drive along the borders of the lane that they are in, much like DUI’s. Once the police officer decides to pull you over, there are a few things that will happen.

Roadside Testing for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

A police officer will follow the same protocols when pulling someone over for a suspected DUI as for a DUID. A breathalyzer will be given and field sobriety tests. If a police officer believes that you are driving under the influence of drugs, they will call in a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).

Many police departments have a DRE that is trained to recognize impairment of drivers for drugs and alcohol.

A DRE will look at the suspect’s eyes for reddening, marijuana odor, as well as body and eyelid tremors. From here, they will take a blood test to confirm their suspicion. A Colorado driver is considered impaired if they have a THC level of 5 nanograms per millimeter of blood.

Refusing a Blood Test with a Drug Recognition Expert

However, you can refuse a blood test through Colorado’s Express Consent Law. If a driver refuses a blood test, a warrant must be obtained before any blood is drawn. Police officers must act fast because THC can metabolize quickly out of the blood within 2 hours.

On the other hand, anybody who refuses a chemical blood test will immediately lose their driver’s license and be classified as, “a persistent drunk driver.”

There are major consequences to refusing a blood test including having your license revoked for 1 year, ignition interlock for 2 years, and alcohol education and therapy classes.

If you’ve been pulled over and charged with a DUI or DUID in Boulder or around Colorado, it is crucial that you contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible to defend your case, especially because you only have 7 days to schedule a hearing to keep your driver’s license or get it revoked.

Boulder DUI attorney Phil Clark can help you out. As a former prosecutor and certified in National Highway Transportation Safety Administration standards, Phil has a unique and advantageous experience and knowledge to defend your DUI or DUID case. Contact us today for a FREE Consultation or call us 303-444-4251.