“We want to know what they base that decision on and what we at CDOT can do convince them not to drive high.” -Sam Cole
It might be legal to smoke weed in Colorado but CDOT wants you to know there are consequences if you get behind the wheel high. It’s called drugged driving and CDOT plans to launch the ‘Cannabis Conversation’ Initiative to combat what is commonplace for some users. In the mean time read the FAQ page from CDOT about marijuana use and driving: Q: How does marijuana affect my ability to drive?
A: You cannot judge your own level of impairment. Any amount of marijuana consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired.
Q: Is there a legal limit for marijuana impairment while operating a vehicle?
A: Colorado law specifies that drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their whole blood can be prosecuted for driving under the influence (DUI). However, no matter the level of THC, law enforcement officers base arrests on observed impairment.
Q: What if I use marijuana medicinally?
A: If a substance has impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle it is illegal for you to be driving, even if that substance is prescribed or legally acquired.
Q: Are there additional penalties for marijuana-impaired driving if there are children in the vehicle?
A: Additional charges for impaired drivers include child abuse if children are present in the vehicle.
Q: Is it legal to have marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia in the passenger cabin of the vehicle?
A: Colorado’s open container law makes it illegal to have marijuana in the passenger area of a vehicle if it is in an open container, container with a broken seal, or if there is evidence marijuana has been consumed. It is also illegal to consume marijuana on any public roadway.
Q: How can law enforcement determine if I am impaired by the use of marijuana?
A: Colorado Law Enforcement Officers are trained in the detection of impairment caused by drugs. Many Colorado Law Enforcement Officer have received advanced training in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). Across the state of Colorado law enforcement agencies have specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) on staff that can detect impairment from a variety of substances.
Q: What if I refuse to take a blood test to detect THC?
A: Colorado revokes driving privileges for any individual who fails to cooperate with the chemical testing process requested by an officer during the investigation of an alcohol or drug-related DUI arrest. Any driver who refuses to take a blood test will immediately be considered a high-risk driver. Consequences include: mandatory ignition interlock for two years, and level two alcohol education and therapy classes as specified by law. These penalties are administrative, and are applied regardless of a criminal conviction.