Zweig Law, PC Attorneys at Law

Five things to know about marijuana and driving in Colorado

With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, the laws governing use can seem incredibly complex. This may seem especially true if you are visiting from out of town. Sometimes, what you do not know can have a negative impact. You certainly do not want to face arrest or jail time.


Here is some information to help you safely enjoy your trip to Colorado:

  1. You must be 21 or older to use marijuana. Like alcohol, marijuana is a controlled substance legal for use only by people over the age of 21. It is only for personal recreational use, and you must have a license to sell marijuana in Colorado.
  2. 2. There is a legal limit for marijuana impairment while driving. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, drivers with five nanograms of THC in their system can face prosecution for driving under the influence (DUI).
  3. If an officer suspects you are impaired or smells marijuana, he or she can arrest you. Police officers base impairment on behavior they observe. Many officers have trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, so they know what impairment looks like. If they observe this behavior, they can arrest you. Even if an officer thinks he or she smells marijuana, they can arrest you.
  4. Law enforcement may ask you to take a blood test to screen for THC. If you refuse to take the test requested by an officer, Colorado will automatically revoke your license. The state assumes you are a high-risk driver if you refuse to take a test. This is true even if you have an out-of-state license. Other consequences vary, but these punishments still apply even if you do not receive a criminal conviction.
  5. You cannot have an “open container” of marijuana in your vehicle. The Colorado open container law also applies to marijuana. You cannot have an open container of marijuana, a container with the seal broken or paraphernalia that implies marijuana consumption in the vehicle. That also means you cannot consume marijuana while on a public road.

Laws regarding marijuana can be confusing. Using this information may help you prevent encounters with law enforcement on your trip to Colorado.

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