Even if you have your Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry card you can still be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs in this state. Once you are stopped by law enforcement, there are some very legal and voluntary things you can do to help your case.
Roadsides, also known as Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT TO THE ROADSIDES. The roadsides are voluntary. Once stopped, law enforcement will ask you to perform these tests to “see if you are sober enough to drive home.” As tempting as it may seem to get to drive home and not be arrested, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT TO THESE and more often than not, you are allowed to drive home after doing them. Don’t be intimidated into performing these tests as the officer may indicate that if you do not perform these tests you will probably be arrested. You are more than likely going to be arrested after performing these tests as the evidence obtained from the tests is used against you in your prosecution. These tests are Walk & Turn, One Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (eye test). Hardly anyone can pass these tests sober, they are voluntary and you will not be harmed if you decline to perform them.
If you are charged with DUID then sometimes the officer will ask you to go to the station and perform more tests with another officer, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). This DRE officer is specifically trained to test you for impairment by drugs. You do not have to submit because this is also voluntary and you will not be harmed if you do not participate. And you probably have already been arrested, so these tests cannot get you released as they are collecting more evidence to use against you.
If you are arrested for DUID, you will also be asked to submit to a blood draw (Express Consent advisement). If you do not cooperate and give blood, you will lose your license for a minimum of one year with no temporary or work licenses in the interim.
Please remember that these are voluntary. It is up to you to take the tests or not. Don’t be intimidated or swayed by law enforcement. These are rights you have, and in the long run you may be better protected if you exercise them.
Ann Toney, P.C. is a Denver-based law firm in Denver that focuses on medical marijuana business law and marijuana defense; and defending people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs (DUI/DUID). Ann Toney can be contacted via phone or web at (303) 399-5556 and www.medicalcannabislaw.com.