THC-DUI: a compromise
We're getting set to go a third round in the battle to establish a threshold for the amount of THC allowed in the blood of Colorado drivers. Two commissions have come up with separate bills to recommend to the Legislature, says Colorado Springs Rep. Mark Waller. The one that will run in the House of Representatives is the version coming out of the Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice (of which Waller is a member). It's possible a third set of recommendations from the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force could come later, which would then need to be reconciled.
Here's how Waller's bill seeks to succeed where two others in previous years have failed: Instead of compromising on a "per se" limit of 5 nanograms of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood — considered "active" THC as opposed to "latent" THC, says Waller — his suggests a "permissive inference" limit. Basically, that means the accused would have the option of proving to the court why they weren't impaired, despite the results of the blood test. Under a "per se" limit, no greater proof than the test is needed by the prosecution.
Still to be worked out is the penalty if a driver declines the blood test, though it will likely be automatic license revocation. "We had that in last year's bill, and it got great Republican support," says Waller, adding: "I feel good about chances [of the bill's passage], I do. But, having said that, I felt good about our chances every year."
CSPD's approach to 64
This week we received a copy of the mid-December notice that Pete Carey, chief of the Colorado Springs Police Department, distributed to patrol officers concerning the passage of Amendment 64. Here's one excerpt:
"An individual twenty one or older is authorized to possess an ounce or less of marijuana but they are not permitted to use the marijuana in a public place or in a manner that endangers others. ... There are no current requirements that personal grows need to be in the home."
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