Driving is a task that needs mental acuity and concentration. It is therefore imperative that drivers need to be in good mental and physical condition before taking control of the steering wheel. Substances that can affect mental and physical alertness should not be taken prior to driving. However, some people tend to forego following this important advice, and that’s when things get out of hand and they get in trouble. Getting charged with driving under the influence can be a serious thing, especially if it involves marijuana or other drugs. A conviction on your record can have a negative impact on your future transactions. Forewarned is definitely forearmed when it comes to the legal implications of DUI or DUID, so you must at least know what are the penalties for DUI. You should also be aware that DUI penalties vary in different states, so we will focus on the state of Colorado and the city of Denver for this particular case.
What are the penalties for marijuana DUI?
Although marijuana is considered legal for many in Colorado, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to drive a vehicle while under its influence. The same can be said of alcohol. If a person is suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana, he or she will be asked to take a blood test. If the amount of THC in the blood is 5 nanograms or higher, it could mean the person can be arrested for marijuana DUI or DUID. An experienced Denver criminal defense attorney can provide you with legal assistance in defending your case and avoid conviction. A DUID attorney should also give you the knowledge about the penalties for DUID.
- First Offense DUID – The penalties for a 1st offense DUID are 5 days to 1 year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, a license suspension for up to 9 months, and community service for up to 96 hours. Attending an alcohol treatment program can replace the jail sentence for a 1st offense DUID.
- Second Offense DUID – For a 2nd offense DUID, the penalties are 10 days to 1 year in the county jail, a fine of $600 up to $1,500, a maximum 120 hours of community service, and a 2-year probation period.
- Third and Subsequent DUID Offense – A third offense DUID can have stiffer sanctions, with penalties of 60 days to 1 year, a fine of up to $1,500, community service for a maximum of 120 hours, mandatory attendance of a drug and alcohol driving and safety educational or treatment program, and a 2 years of probation.
For a fourth conviction, the guidelines call for 60 days to 1 year in jail, 5 year license suspension, ignition interlock device required, probation, heavy fines, and community service.
How can you defend against a DUID charge?
If you are charged of DUID due to marijuana, immediately get the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, especially an attorney experienced in handling DUID cases. You can be arrested and charged for DUID for driving while impaired or influenced by prescription medicine, over-the-counter medication, marijuana, cocaine or any other controlled substance, whether legally prescribed or Illegal recreational drugs. Establishing drug intoxication may be problematic, and testing for controlled substances in urine or blood can be far less accurate than alcohol testing. These can be possible factors for the early dismissal of your case.
There can be many technicalities when it comes to DUID charges. Evidence should be reviewed without delay. Drug tests can sometimes take too long after your arrest and may not adequately prove you were driving under the influence of drugs or were impaired by drugs at the time you were driving the vehicle. The testing process may have had flaws or you may have been a victim of an illegal police stop. An aggressive and thorough investigative approach by a knowledgeable DUI attorney can help you challenge flaws or weaknesses in the case, and mitigate the legal consequences or possibly dismiss the case.
Prevention is still definitely better than cure when it comes to driving. However, there can be circumstances that can still put you in a sticky situation when it comes to driving under the influence. It is very helpful to know the legal process of DUI or DUID charges and what you can do to defend yourself. It’s always wise to remain calm and collected and call for the services of a knowledgeable and experienced DUID or criminal defense lawyer. So always drive carefully, and never use substances that may compromise yours and other people’s safety.