Colo. lawmakers consider new standards for driving under influence of marijuana

Posted on: 8:41 pm, December 5, 2012, by , updated on: 10:22pm, December 5, 2012

DENVER — Just weeks after Colorado voters decided to legalize marijuana possession for adults who are twenty-one and older; lawmakers are already considering what standards could be implemented to determine if a driver is too high to be behind the wheel.

Last May, Colorado lawmakers narrowly voted down a measure that would have made it illegal for a driver to have more than five nanograms of Delta-9 THC in their system while driving. Now lawmakers, who head back to work in January, are deciding whether or not to re-introduce the measure that would impact anyone who uses marijuana and drives.

“I see it as a serious priority when it comes to saving lives,” said State Senator Steve King in an interview with KDVR-TV in Grand Junction.

Earlier this year, FOX31 Denver put drivers to the test to determine if the five nanogram limit would be an effective tool for law enforcement in determining if someone is under the influence.

Senator King has not said whether he plans to re-introduce the same legislation that would limit drivers to five nanograms, but said that the issue will be a priority when lawmakers return in 2013.

“Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, the marijuana industry needs to do the same with friends don’t let friends drive high because it’s every bit as dangerous,” added King.

Under current Colorado law, if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence, officers can request a blood sample to be taken to determine the THC levels of the driver. State trained drug recognition experts are also used to determine a driver’s sobriety and what charges should be filed against an individual.