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Can you get a drugged driving charge after smoking legal drugs?

| Mar 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

While most people have heard warnings about drinking and driving, there is often less clarity when it comes to drug use. With alcohol, law enforcement has traditionally relied on breath and blood tests, but how do they check for drugs, and what are the limits?

As places around the United States continue to loosen regulations on substances such as cannabis, understanding drugged driving laws is becoming increasingly important.

Legal drugs in Colorado

In 2012, Colorado became one of the first states to permit the use of cannabis for all adults over the age of 21. Since then, 14 other states have followed. Because this legislation opened doors that federal scheduling previously prohibited, many drivers who consume recently legalized drugs are now facing uncertainties on the road.

Drugged driving laws

Although Colorado may have been one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, it is still illegal to consume while operating motor vehicles. According to the law, a blood test showing more than 5 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicating ingredient in cannabis, can lead to a “permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of one or more drugs.”

Potential consequences

If law enforcement charges you with driving under the influence, you can face hefty fines as well as the loss of your license. Depending on your circumstances, jail time can be another possible consequence of a DUI or DWAI.

At the end of the day, even one joint can land you in legal trouble if you decide to drive afterward. For this reason, it is always best to avoid any kinds of drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel.