How Will Colorado’s New Marijuana Law Affect Motorists?

Earlier this month, 55 percent of Colorado’s voters approved Amendment 64, a measure that allows adults over the age of 21 to possess marijuana for personal use. Opponents of the law claimed that legalized cannabis would lead to increased use of an allegedly addictive, mind-altering drug. Some claimed that more marijuana users on the road could lead to an increase in fatal car accidents. Research seems to support this position.

According to a study from London, smokers who hit the road just after getting high are twice more likely to cause a car accident than sober drivers are.

The law punishes stoned drivers and drunk drivers equally, but checking drivers for marijuana intoxication is not as simple as issuing a breathalyzer (yet, anyway: some scientists are currently working on a breathing test for marijuana). A urine sample can test positive for marijuana weeks the driver smokes or ingests it, and hair can hold traces of marijuana for months. In other words, a sober, coherent driver can still test positive for cannabis.

However, police can examine factors like red eyes, slurred speech and odors from the car or suspected smoker to determine if the driver is currently under the influence. The state may increase the number of police officers specializing in Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, or DUID.

Colorado is blazing a new trail in drug regulation and enforcement. One thing that has not changed: driving under the influence of any drug is still illegal, and negligent drivers who make poor choices should be held responsible for their actions. If you lost a loved one or sustained a catastrophic injury because another driver broke the law, we can help you set things right. Contact our office today and ask about our free consultations.

Metier Law Firm, LLCDenver injury lawyers

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