Not everyone knows that a DWAI charge can result from marijuana use. It is a common assumption that the influence implicated by the charge is that of alcohol. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related DWAI in the state of Colorado, then you know the truth. Do you also know how severely both DWAI and DUI are punished in the state of Colorado? The purpose of this post is to explain the penalties for DWAI in Colorado. If you have been charged with DWAI, contact an experienced Denver DWAI defense attorney. An experienced attorney will explain the charges against you, inform you of your legal rights, and work to mount the strongest possible defense against the charges against you. Your freedom, finances, time, and reputation are all at stake. As such, you need a skilled attorney.
Marijuana DWAI Test Different Than Alcohol DWAI Test
Colorado is one of only four states (with Oregon, Washington, and Alaska being the others) in which marijuana is legal. Just because the drug is legal to purchase and consume, however, does not mean that is legal to drive a car, truck, or other vehicle while experienced impaired abilities from consuming it. The “influence” at issue in a DWAI or DUI charge may be that of alcohol, marijuana, another drug, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. The state does not want residents or visitors getting behind the wheel while under the influence – no matter what the influence is. The dangers – accidents, injuries, fatalities, and property damage – are the same no matter whether the cause is alcohol or marijuana related.
Where differences emerge between alcohol DWAI and marijuana DWAI are in the testing of the presence of either substance in a driver stopped for a potential violation of state law. Alcohol is measured by Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). BAC is most commonly measured by breathalyzer. A measurement of .05% is grounds for a DWAI charge, and a measurement of .08% is ground for a DUI charge. With marijuana, the testing is different. The test is still in relation to blood, but the substance being tested for is active Tetrahydrocannabinal (THC). For marijuana DWAI, the threshold is five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. A reading of less than five nanograms is grounds for a DWAI charge; a reading of five or more nanograms is grounds for a DUI charge. The presence of active THC may be measured by 4 types of tests:
- Blood swab,
- Saliva swab,
Colorado law enforcement only utilize blood and saliva tests, as they are the only tests capable of detecting active Delta 9 – THC.
What to Do if You Have Been Charged With DWAI in the State of Colorado
Whether the charge concerns alcohol or marijuana, if you have been charged DWAI, it is very important that you contact a skilled and experienced Colorado DWAI defense attorney to protect your rights and mount the strongest possible defense.