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Texas v. Colorado

As more states across the country legalize marijuana consumption—either for medicinal or recreational use—states are catching up with the laws that reflect where one can and cannot indulge.

One of the areas of legal concern is driving while under the influence. Do first-time marijuana offenders get the same consideration as first time alcohol-related DUI offenders? How much is TOO much marijuana in the system, and how can one even tell?

To break down the difference between states’ approaches to these new conditions, here is how a state with a population that has full access to marijuana stacks up against our state of Texas.

Colorado DWI laws

Reasonably, driving while impaired by a drug, including marijuana, remains illegal. However, it took the Colorado legislature six attempts over the course of three years to pass these measures, given the changing legality of marijuana across the state.

Testing for marijuana, and measurement of such, is a field still in development. The laws settled upon most recently state that a person is too intoxicated to drive if they have five or more nanograms of THC per millimeter of blood. However, defendants are given the option of arguing that they were not in fact intoxicated, regardless of this blood level.

First Offenders of a DUI

  • 5 Days – 1 Year of County Jail
  • $600 – $1,000 Fine
  • 48 – 96 Hours of Community Service
  • Court-Mandated Probation Not to Exceed Two Years

First Offenders of a DWI

  • 2 – 180 Days of Jail Time
  • $200 – $500 Fine
  • 24 – 48 Hours of Community Service

Second Offenses for Either

  • 60 Days – 1 Year in County Jail
  • $600 – $1,500 Fine
  • 48 – 125 Hours of Community Service
  • Mandatory Court-Ordered Driving Safety Education and Treatment Programs
  • Court-Mandated Probation

Texas DWI Laws

Texas’s already standing DWI statute includes driving under the influence of marijuana. Being intoxicated covers any substance that might impair your driving ability, from alcohol to marijuana to prescription drug use.

Currently, Texas has no standardized way of testing for marijuana consumption. The law officers might be able to obtain a blood test through a warrant, but cannot take one at the time of the arrest. There are, however, what are referred to as DREs—Drug Recognition Experts.

While laws in Texas are clear on how high your blood alcohol level (BAC) can be, there is no such measurement for marijuana consumption. This may come down to the discretion of the arresting officer or Drug Recognition Expert.

Because of the loose law regarding DWIs, there are many risk factors. Between the unstandardized ways of testing, no legal limit on what can be in a suspect’s system, and the missing laws in place, casual marijuana users are playing Russian Roulette with more than one bullet.

The Best Criminal Defense in Texas and Colorado

Whether you’re facing criminal charges in Texas or Colorado, Thiessen Law Firm has you covered. We’ve examined the gaps in subjective laws that can ruin lives, and we want to protect your rights so this doesn’t happen to you. Schedule a free consultation with us today and get on the path to freedom.

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