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Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Colorado


THC/DUI Bill Hearing on Thursday (3/10)

House Judiciary Committee Hearing on HB 1261
DATE: Thurs., March 10, 2011
LOCATION: Hearing Room 0107, basement, state Capitol Building, 200 E.
Colfax, Denver, CO (Note, this room only seats about 40 people so arrive
early. There are 3 other bills on the agenda before the DUI bill.)
TIME: 1:30pm

Capitol Bill Room (for last minute changes): (303) 866-3055

Attire: Dress to Impress
Provisions: Bring food and water, as the hearing may last a while.

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You listen online to the House Judiciary ommittee hearing:

HB1261 would declare that anyone found driving with 5 nanogram/milliliters
or more of THC in their bloodstream would be guilty of “DUI per se” and
subject to a misdemeanor offense and the possible revocation of their
driver’s license. Click here for more info:

On Thursday, March 10, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a Hearing on
HB 11-1261, the DUI/THC bill. Rep. Claire Levy has sponsored a bill that
will set a per se 5 ng/mL limit on THC in the bloodstream. This means that
if you get pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence, if
blood or urine tests show your THC levels are above 5 ng, you essentially
will have NO defense to the charge of driving while impaired. The DA will
not have to show your driving was poor or impaired to “even he slightest
degree.” The law will put the burden on you to overcome that presumption –
a battle you will lose.

This bill is EXTREMELY problematic for many practical reasons. There is NO
research showing that 5 ng/ML of THC corresponds to any impairment in
drivers (unlike with alcohol BAC, where numerous studies have shown that
drivers demonstrate impairment at .05.) In fact, most studies have not
been able to show any correlation between THC and driving impairment, even
at significantly higher levels of THC ingestion.

Moreover, some jurisdictions contract with private labs to test your THC
levels, and these labs consistently over-report and incorrectly report THC
levels. The criminal defense bar has tried to remedy this with no avail.
Under this bill, these labs will be inundated with testing and will likely
provide even less accurate results. I have a client who spent tens of
thousands of dollars to defend himself against an erroneous DUID charge –
the labs results were GROSSLY in error. After spending thousands of dollars
paying a private lab to re-test the THC levels, we proved he had no THC in
his blood. Can you afford to do spend that?

Please show up to speak against this bill. Being convicted of a DUID
(driving under the influence of drugs) will have HORRIBLE life-long and
life-altering consequences for you. Not only will you automatically lose
your driver’s license for up to a year, you will be subject to higher
insurance premiums for life; you also could lose your health insurance,
your professional license, your job, not be able to travel to many foreign
countries (including Canada) and much more.

And, most importantly, in many jurisdictions in CO, you will no longer be
able to use your physician recommended medical marijuana once you are
convicted. No matter what your medical need, a Judge will have the
authority to tell you you cannot medicate with THC. And despite multiple
attorneys’ attempts to appeal this issue to a higher court, the Court of
Appeals refuses to review this probation requirement.

It is essential that we get the legislature to VOTE NO on this bill.
Please pull out all stops to make your voice heard.

Lauren C. Davis
Attorney At Law
600 17th St., Suite 2800
Denver, CO 80202

Sample letter to House Judiciary Committee

Please vote no on HB1261 and do more research on the bill to set a nanogram
limit on cannabis. There is no evidence showing a link between THC blood
concentration and impairment. Other drugs that impair people, like
oxycontin, do not have nanogram limits. This bill is unfair to medical
marijuana patients and will force patients back on prescription medications
that do not have nanogram levels and are not routinely tested for by the
police. Please at least include an exemption for medical marijuana

bob.gardner.house@state.co.us, mark.barker.house@state.co.us,
pete.lee.house@state.co.us, claire.levy.house@state.co.us,
rep.nikkel@gmail.com, su.ryden.house@state.co.us,
jerry.sonnenberg.house@state.co.us, mark.waller.house@state.co.us,


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Johnny Green

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