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Proposed legislation to require research on improving marijuana DUI enforcement

We’ve been speaking in our last couple posts the development of marijuana breathalyzer technology and what this might mean for both law enforcement agencies and drivers who legally use marijuana. As we’ve pointed out, because of the way marijuana is metabolized, the technology presents the troubling problem of drivers being unfairly targeted for drugged driving.

Although marijuana breathalyzers could potentially help better target impaired drivers, it is perhaps debatable whether they would lead to more effective enforcement of impaired driving laws. Colorado lawmakers are certainly aware of the issue, and two—Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter have proposed legislation that would establish changes geared to preventing high drivers from being on the road. 

Most importantly, the law would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct research on marijuana use and driving to help states improve enforcement of drugged driving laws. As we’ve previously mentioned, Colorado has set the intoxication level for marijuana at five nanograms per liter of blood, but enforcing that law is problematic from the standpoint of scientific accuracy. The benefit of the law is that the federal government would have to get behind the cause of developing better ways to enforce marijuana impaired driving.

Until better science comes along and better technology is developed, enforcing marijuana DUI will be a hairy affair. Those who are wrongly targeted for marijuana DUI, of course, should always work with an experienced attorney to make sure they have help building a strong defense case and a navigating the criminal process. 

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