Despite the limited legalization of recreational marijuana, the Aspen Police Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Highway Patrol all warn that nothing in the recent legislation will deter them from enforcing DUI laws that prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs,according to a recent story in the Aspen Times.
In May of 2013, the Colorado legislature passed a new law to address the issue, which sets a presumptive threshold for marijuana-impaired-driving arrests. The law creates a “permissible inference” for judges and juries that any driver with five or more nanograms of THC, per milliliter of blood, was under the influence of marijuana.
Aspen DUI attorneys are concerned about the lack of science behind the new presumptive limit.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT) also reminds motorists that a number of marijuana offenses remain on the books. It is illegal to consume marijuana on any public roadway, to have it in “an open container” in the in the passenger area of a vehicle, or to have an accessible container in the vehicle with a broken seal.
While none of the agencies plan any particular crusade against marijuana-impaired drivers, CDoT has increased DUI enforcement resources in general in the past year, as part of its “The Heat is On” campaign, and marijuana-impaired drivers are in no way exempt from the heightened enforcement strategies.
Motorists suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana can be required to take a blood test rather than a breath test, since there are currently no breath tests capable of detecting THC.