Colorado was among the first states to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Many people – young people, in particular – saw it as a cause for celebration. But the law comes with limits.
Your college-age son or daughter can still get arrested if he or she is high when behind the wheel. Your child faces fines, jail time and other penalties.
As with alcohol, your son or daughter can face a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). Police can make an arrest if they detect signs of impairment. Charges can result if your child fails a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) blood test.
The legal use of medicinal marijuana is no excuse. Police do not care if your child has a prescription for pot. Marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia in the cabin of the vehicle? More charges.
The state will consider your child a high-risk driver if she or he refuses to take a THC blood test. Your child can lose driving privileges and face other penalties. A criminal conviction is not required.
A first-time offender under the age of 21 faces the loss of her or his license for three months. Other penalties: A fine of up to $100 and 24 hours of community service.
One thing teenagers do not think about is insurance. Their rates will increase about $3,000 over five years.
They also may forget about the social impact of DUI: They lose the freedom of easy travel. This can lead to job loss and broken relationships with their peers.
Your child can contest a marijuana-related DUI charge. It also is difficult, especially if there are complications. For instance, if children were in the vehicle, they could face a charge of child abuse.
Your child may have made a mistake and needs to learn a lesson. But your child also has rights. Protect those rights.