Lawmakers in Colorado are one step closer to passing a bill that establishes a blood standard for drivers suspected of being high. The Senate passed the bill by a margin of one vote.
In the state of Colorado, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal and officials in the state are concerned that stoned driving will become an epidemic like intoxicated driving did two decades ago.
After that epidemic, blood standards for alcohol have become stricter with tougher penalties and many people, who are arrested for an intoxicated driving charge, will need an adept DUI lawyer for their defense.
Driving while intoxicated on marijuana is already illegal in most states but there is not a standard to determine their legal of intoxication. A bill, originally introduced last year, but failed to pass, would establish that a driver is impaired if they have 5 nanograms of THC in their blood.
The bill introduced to the Colorado legislature last year also included blood standards for legal prescription drugs, which can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs, but was changed to only apply to marijuana.
Those opposed to the bill say that drivers, who legally use marijuana, would be unfairly targeted and cause them an undue burden of hiring a DUI attorney to help them with a charge that may not be accurate. Unlike alcohol, THC is fat soluble and blood content will register high well after the effects of the drug have worn off.
The White house has encouraged all states to include a blood standard for stoned drivers, but have not indicated what that standard should be.
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the U.S., so it is inevitable that these drivers may eventually be arrested and must have the representation of a DWI or DUI attorney to negate some of the harsh penalties associated with the charge.