In many states cannabis is illegal and if you are caught driving under the influence of cannabis, you may face fines and even jail time. Remember, just because you may live in a state like Colorado, Washington, or California, were it is considered decriminalized, you can still be subject to DUI penalties. You could be pulled over and tested. Contrary to some, "you do have to take a blood or breath test if you are arrested for a DUI/DWI," Drivinglaws.org.
In states like Colorado you consent to a preliminary test even if you are not currently under arrest. You agreed to it when you got your driver's license, (Annotation II. implied consent.) Now, it is considered a form of field sobriety test, and you are not required to take it and the cop should mention this to you, but it usually doesn't help to refuse it. Basically, you will get arrested and made to give a test.
“A new DUI law is in effect in Colorado which sets a legal limit for the amount of active THC in your system while driving. The legal limit is 5 nano-grams per milliliter of blood,” Coloradopotguide.com.
If you do refuse a test there are penalties. For the first refusal, you could lose your license for a year; the second time, you could lose it for two years. If you try it a third time or more times, the penalty is three years revocation. If there was an accident with damage, injury or a death, they will forcefully take your blood, if you refuse. Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1301.
So, rule number one is, do not get high and drive!
But are there extenuating circumstances? Medical cannabis users have to deal with this question all the time, and most people only really feel the effects of cannabis for the first 30-60 minutes. Many regular cannabis users will have high levels of THC in their system, but not be high unless they have used recently. Therefore, a real danger exists for any regular cannabis user, who could get pulled over and treated as intoxicated.
Things to remember before you get pulled over, see rule number one! Then keep your stash locked in the trunk during transport, open container laws are sticky, don’t mess with them. If your stash is up front with you, its seals should be unbroken.
Keep a copy of you patient paper work or red card on you. Having a medical condition, and a prescription does carry some legal weight when setting a president for regular use and your sobriety. A regular medical cannabis user can justify having higher personal tolerance than the 5 nano-gram limit.
If you do get pulled over; stay calm, don’t get all shifty and get shot. Cops are kind of jumpy these days. Be polite to the officer, but do not say anything other than the following.
The Four Magic phrases for dealing with any encounter with law enforcement:
“AM I FREE TO GO?” “If they reply that you are free to go, then you are free to go. You may have to wait for the officer to finish the citation, but yes, you are free to go. If you are not free to go, then you must use the other magic words.”
“I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCHES,” it is the cop’s job to gather evidence of a crime not yours.
“I WANT TO REMAIN SILENT,” “I want to remain silent,” is one of the trickier magic words. The Supreme Court has declared that in order to use your right to remain silent, you must first speak up and say you want to remain silent. After you say it, the police are still allowed to continue to question and harass you. You must not speak up and if you do, you have to say “I want to remain silent,” all over again. For some reason, the Supreme Court thinks this is all very easy to do during a police encounter.
“I WANT A LAWYER.” When you tell the police, “I want a lawyer,” they are not allowed to talk to you again until you have a lawyer with you.
Read the full text at Alternet.org/4-magic-phrases-use-if-cops-stop-you-pot
The holidays are just around the corner, and people will be celebrating with family and friends. Remember, the police will be out pulling drivers over and doing roadside sobriety tests, and with all the controversy surrounding their methods, be safe and know the laws in your state. Know how to deal with the police and don’t get high and drive.
*Some people are advocates of not even talking to the police and post a sign at DUI checkpoints. I do not know if this is a good idea or not. It may be considered obstruction, or your 4th Amendment right. Here is the links to several articles on the subject for you to decide on. Please comment if you have a strong opinion or can testify to it working, or not.