In past posts about marijuana DUI laws, we discussed the legislative proposal that sought to set a THC limit at which drivers would be considered legally under the influence of marijuana while driving. Supporters of the DUID proposal basically wanted it to be easier for the system to hold drivers accountable who are supposedly high on marijuana.
Having a BAC limit for drunk driving cases offers a sense of consistency in the investigative and criminal process. Setting a THC limit, supporters suggested, would offer that same consistency and deter people from driving while impaired by marijuana. Though the proposal had met some success in Colorado recently, it hit a wall on Tuesday by failing within the Colorado Senate.
It's no surprise that those against setting a THC limit are relieved by the failed legislation, but they might not be breathing as easily as in the past. This time around, the DUI marijuana bill got extremely close to getting through the senate. The Associated Press reports that with simply one more vote for the bill, the bill would have passed. The absence of one senator left the senate at a 17-17 vote. It was a close call, proving that this is a complicated legal matter within the state that both sides are passionate about.
As is, drivers can be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, but there is no set THC limit for officials to go on with regards to the criminal process. Simple observation by an officer works to support a charge and potential conviction. The proposed THC limit, if passed, would have probably worked to secure more DUID charges and conviction. Opponents against the proposal saw that as threatening because the science behind THC levels in the body is not incredibly dependable.
This is sure to come up again within the state, and we will post an update if that happens.
Source: The Associated Press, "Marijuana DUI standard dies a 3rd time in Colorado," Kristen Wyatt, May 15, 2012