For the third year, Colorado legislators are trying to pass a bill that would set limits for people driving while under the influence of marijuana. This year is different, according to lawmakers who say they feel good about the prospects of passing HB1114. According to co-sponsor, Colorado House Majority Leader Mark Waller, the Colorado limit for marijuana DUI would be five nanograms of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Democratic Representative Rhonda Fields also is a co-sponsor.
To pass the bill, legislators have “watered it down”, which means that even if a driver tests at that limit, there is still a possibility of walking for the crime. Waller claims that the police and prosecutors must also prove that the levels found in the test also created an impairment. Evidence of such an impairment may be reckless driving or slurred speech – similar to the evidence police now look for when arresting for an alcohol-related DUI.
It’s this point that Waller believes will enable the bill’s success. Some medical marijuana users are consistently above the five nanograms, but allegedly function as sober.
A CBS4 article on the bill noted that, in 2011, 13 percent of deadly crashes in Colorado involved pot. As pot is now legal, the number is expected to rise, further pressuring legislators to pass some kind of limit. Currently, the bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but only time will tell if the third time’s a charm for DUHigh.