Ever felt like you’re just feeling down, and decided to take your car and roam the city till your mind clears? Driving does that, and it can be a quite soothing and relaxing thing to do whenever you want to take your mind off things. Still, it’s a responsibility, and having a car is something not to be taken lightly.
If life hit you a bit hard, and you decided to wander off in your vehicle, but after smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol, you’d be putting your life as well as the lives of others at stake. A car can be as dangerous as a weapon, and you don’t want that pointed at others or yourself for that matter.
It gets worse if you’re stopped by the police, especially in a state like Colorado where they don’t take driving under the influence lightly.
Why you shouldn’t smoke weed and drive
Marijuana can significantly inhibit a person’s cognitive abilities and impair their judgment. And you can never be the judge of that because you’ll probably be too stoned to even realize your judgment is not at its best.
You might ask yourself if there were a legal amount of pot you could smoke that would be legal, like alcohol for instance. There is, but it’s significantly small, at least in the state of Colorado. The law states that drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active component of cannabis – in their blood are liable to be prosecuted for DUI.
Still, regardless of the level of THC in your blood, officers could arrest you just based on your apparent impairment, which they are trained to detect.
Why you shouldn’t consume alcohol and drive
It’s kind of a given that drinking and driving are not a good idea. Around 60 people in Colorado get arrested on a daily basis for DUI. That number is quite alarming because that’s the number of people driving out there while being a menace to both themselves and more importantly others.
Alcohol also significantly impairs judgment and more importantly, your ability to focus. You also don’t have the ability to quickly react to situations, which means your response will be delayed on account of the alcohol in your bloodstream, making it very dangerous to drive around.
There’s a reason why lawyers warn against DUI in the state because it can be subject to serious legal ramifications if you’re caught. The state doesn’t take lightly citizens driving under the influence, because there are just too many people doing it.
And if you’re stopped by the police, chances are you’re going to need a criminal defense lawyer because rest assured, legal action will be taken against you. There’s another thing you should know.
Colorado is an “implied consent” state which means if you’re driving on the road, you are assumed to consent to a breath or other tests if a law enforcement officer stops you, suspecting you might be driving under the influence.
While you can refuse such tests, expect your driving license to be revoked for one year as a safety precaution –– because guess what, it does sound somewhat incriminating to refuse to take a drug test when stopped by an officer.
You can expect penalties to vary according to the seriousness of the offense. Driving under the influence carries a sentence of jail time between 5 days and one year, and that is for first-time offenders. You can also expect a fine between 500 and 1000 dollars, and there’s also the possibility of community service.
A second DUI conviction may land you years of probation and one-year suspended jail time if you’re lucky.
Better safe than sorry
The fact of the matter is, that driving under the influence is quite a serious affair. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were close to 125 related marijuana deaths in 2016. Alcohol-related deaths are even more common. These numbers are quite alarming because they show the depths of the problem.
If you’re high or drunk and you decide to drive, you’re compromising the jeopardy of people driving around you in the streets, that’s families and kids and innocent bystanders. It should also come to your attention that driving under the influence with children in the car might also incur additional charges of child abuse, which should be the least of your problems if you crash your car with a child on board.
Driving is a responsibility, and doing it under the influence of any material that might impair your judgment and focus is quite risky and might cause death. The last thing you want is for you or, worse, a loved one to become a statistic about the dangers of DUI.