Being involved in a DUID arrest is frustrating and confusing. At Peter Loyd Weber & Associates, we are here to help you through this very difficult time while helping you keep your life intact.
Contact us for a free phone consultation at (720) 863-7755 and find out how we can help you today. Please also look at our Criminal Defense Blog for recent updates on legal activity in Colorado. Many of the answers to your questions relating to your DUID charge can be found on our Frequently Asked DUI Questions.
Elements of DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
When you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) you will be charged under the same statute used when charging a person for driving under the influence of Alcohol. To prove a case of Driving Under the Influence the District Attorney must show you were “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, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.”
These elements can be simplified into 1) driving, 2) consumption of drugs and/or alcohol, and 3) substantially impaired/affected to the slightest degree.
Driving does not mean actually driving, it means “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle. To make a determination the court will consider several factors including 1) where the vehicle was found, 2) where in the vehicle the person was found, 3) whether or not the keys were in the ignition, and 4) whether or not the vehicle was running.
DUID includes the consumption all type of drugs including legally prescribed drugs. Most of the time, you will be asked to submit to a blood or urine analysis since a breath test only shows the presence of alcohol. The only drug that has a statutory limit is marijuana. If the blood results show a positive result of 5 nanograms or more of THC (Marijuana) it is presumed that the driver was under the influence of drugs.
Last, the DA has to show that you were affected to the slightest degree due to the consumption of drugs. This is an incredibly low burden since the Government merely has to show any type of impairment (usually shown by a minor traffic violation).
Amendment 64 / Amendment 20 and their impact on DUID
Although possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal under state law in Colorado for either medical or recreational use, it is still illegal to possess or consume marijuana under federal law. Furthermore, Colorado statute specifically states that the entitlement to possess and consume marijuana under state law (either recreationally or medically) is not a defense to DUID.
Differences between a DUI and a DUID charge
Marijuana advocacy groups criticized the passage of Colorado’s DUID law, specifically the 5 nanogram limit of THC. People that use marijuana frequently, either for medical reasons or recreationally, could be perpetually above this limit even if they have not used marijuana recently. However, unlike DUI and its 0.08 BAC limit, having over 5 nanograms of THC in your blood stream does not mean you are per se DUID. This means that you can present evidence through expert testimony at trial to show that you were not driving impaired. It is imperative that any person charged with DUID consult an experienced attorney that knows the laws and procedures in Colorado; and will fight for your rights.
A conviction of DUID carries many, if not all, of the same collateral consequences that a conviction of DUI may carry. For more information on these consequences, visit our DUI and DWAI Defense page.
The attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates are experienced in DUID cases and will fight for the best possible legal outcome for your case. Call us for a free phone consultation at (720) 863-7755.