Colorado Springs DUI-D Marijuana Defense Attorney

Recreational marijuana may now be legal under Colorado law, but it is still illegal to get high and get behind the wheel. Just like alcohol, marijuana is subject to a number of state regulations, and driving under the influence of marijuana is actually treated as the same crime as driving under the influence of alcohol, or for that matter, of illegal drugs like methamphetamines. We sometimes refer to driving under the influence of drugs as DUI-D, but it is really no different from a ‘regular’ DUI. No matter how confident you are in your ability to drive while high, you can face criminal charges and serious penalties for driving with marijuana in your system.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado Springs, you need to get help from an experienced lawyer right away. As a former prosecutor, Colorado Springs DUI-D marijuana defense attorney Christian A. Schwaner has the experience and know-how to minimize your chance of conviction or the penalties you will face. Reach out to Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today to start fighting back against your charges of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Understanding DUI-D Charges for Marijuana

You may have thought that DUI charges for marijuana were a new development with the new recreational marijuana laws that took effect in Colorado in recent years, but that is not the case. In fact, when it comes to DUI, Colorado law makes no distinction whatsoever between marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs such as heroin. DUI is simply defined as “driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, of exercising clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.”

One part of the law that did come with the recent legalization of marijuana under state law is a specific legal limit for how much marijuana constitutes enough impairment to be prosecuted for DUI. That legal limit is five nanograms of THC in your bloodstream. However, you can still be pulled over and arrested if an officer thinks you are impaired, regardless of how much you actually have in your bloodstream.

DWAI Charges and Marijuana

Although there is a legal limit to be charged with DUI for marijuana, there is no limit to when you can be charged with another crime: driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Colorado law defines this crime as driving while any drug has impaired a person’s abilities “to the slightest degree so that the person is less able than the person ordinarily would have been, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.” Again, the law does not draw a distinction between marijuana and alcohol or other drugs. As long as an officer believes you are even slightly impaired, no matter how much marijuana is in your system, you could be charged with DWAI. While this is technically a lesser charge than DUI, it still comes with hefty penalties.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Colorado Springs

If you are convicted of driving with any amount of marijuana in your system in Colorado Springs, you could face serious penalties with the potential to upend your life completely. These penalties get even worse if you are convicted more than once. Here are the penalties you could be facing if you have been charged with DUI-D or DWAI for marijuana in Colorado:

1st Offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 9 months

2nd Offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,500 in fines
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 1 year

3rd or Subsequent Offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,500 in fines
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your license for up to 2 years

DWAI with Marijuana (1st Offense)

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • 8 points toward license suspension on your DMV record

DWAI with Marijuana (2nd or Subsequent Offense)

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,500 in fines
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • 8 points toward license suspension on your DMV record

These are the same severe penalties that drunk drivers and those on illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin face. Think about the horrible turn your life would take if you had to spend months to years in jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, give up your license, and more. In addition, you could face other drug charges if you are accused of having more marijuana than is legally allowed in your car. You can’t afford a conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana. You need to get in touch with a lawyer and start working out your defense today.

Contact us

If you have been charged with DUI-D or DWAI for marijuana in Colorado Springs, it is time to get legal help now. Colorado Springs DUI-D marijuana defense attorney Christian A. Schwaner has years of experience on both sides of the criminal justice system, and he knows what it takes to fight back against DUI charges in Colorado. For more information on how we can help you minimize your chance of a conviction or minimize your penalties, contact Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today at (719) 577-9700.