We Offer Free Consultations    CONTACT US

Car Accidents, DUI and Colorado's New Marijuana Laws

Denver-based attorney R. Mack Babcock represents injured parties of accidents caused by marijuana DUI or intoxication

In 2012, Colorado became one of two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and on January 1, 2014, shops began opening across the state. Since the pot legalization is still relatively new, it’s unclear what effect it will have on car accidents in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and across Colorado.
Although marijuana, like beer, wine and liquor, may be technically legal now, it is still ILLEGAL to drive under the influence of the drug.

Drivers under the influence of marijuana can experience drowsiness, lethargy and slower reaction times among other things

To what extent marijuana can impair someone is rather unclear, but several studies have confirmed that a user can experience temporary impairment for up to 4 hours after ingesting the drug. A study from Australia using a driving simulator found marijuana had effects on steering, headway control, speed variability, slower reaction time and lane drifting.

Accident statistics from around the country indicate that between 6% and 11% of fatal accident victims tested positive for THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. However, the link between marijuana intoxication and car accidents is inconclusive, but more data should become available over the next few years.

New Colorado laws for marijuana and driving set a legal limit of 5 nannograms of THC per milliliter of blood. Currently, the only reliable way to test for marijuana is through a blood test, which is extremely cumbersome.

This limit though is controversial since THC in the bloodstream doesn’t necessarily indicate impairment — unlike alcohol, marijuana can stay in a user’s system for days or weeks after ingesting. So while the intoxicating effects may last for only 2-4 hours, the remnants of THC can remain in the bloodstream for much longer.

If you’ve been in a car accident and think the other driver was under the influence of marijuana, discuss your case with an attorney today...

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if someone is intoxicated by marijuana, especially after a car accident. But a few signs you can look for include:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Slow moving
  • Unable to focus
  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth

Like we said above though, someone could have marijuana in their system and not be intoxicated.
The most important thing to remember is that you do have a right to compensation if you’re in a car accident that was another driver’s fault — regardless of any intoxication.

But if you can prove the other driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, you may qualify for “punitive” damages.

Check our blog periodically for updates on Colorado’s new marijuana laws, including any new data that sheds light on its impact on car accidents.

We invite you to continue browsing our website and knowledge center to learn more about car accidents, DUI, finding an attorney and much more. And if you’re ready to discuss your individual case, please make an appointment with Denver car accident attorneys at the Babcock Law Firm for a no-risk consultation today.

Download our new (PDF) Colorado Car Accident Guide for a comprehensive overview, and print out the handy car accident checklist that includes critical steps you need to try and take after an accident occurs.

See articles below, or visit our knowledge center and blog to learn more about DUI accidents

Related Articles From our blog
marijuana leaf, Supreme Court Drops Lawsuit Against Colorado’s Marijuana Law
Supreme Court Drops Lawsuit Against Colorado’s Marijuana Law

The Supreme Court made the decision in March of this […]

Yes, Using Medical Marijuana Can Still Get You Fired

The Colorado Supreme Court recently upheld a decision that businesses […]

New Data on Marijuana DUIs in Colorado

Is driving high illegal? The answer to that question is […]

Client Testimonials

5-star review image
Workman's comp claim
Workers Compensation  |  Longmont
Retained following denial of treatment for lifting injuries and negotiated settlement for injured worker.
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"Your staff is amazing. Jane made the intake and outtake processes thorough and reliable--always supportive. Aiden consistently provided a professional and efficient connection--again always supportive. Stephanie: So honest and patient--she is unbelievable and such an incredible guide--especially for someone like me. I didn't know how or where to begin, or what to expect. I am so grateful for the support and most of all, for the means that I need to go forward with treatment. I am continuing with my primary care doctor, and a specialist, able to submit claims through my regular insurance. Thanks you so much for being there! Barbara"

5-star review image
Workers Compensation  |  Longmont
Represented a prior client when he injured his back. Did an evaluation and negotiated a settlement on his behalf.
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"I was injured in my job, and after few months of Doctor treatments I got kiked out from job by employer and they told me that your at MMI recovery. And I did not know what to do. I I called The BOBCOCK LAW FIRM LLC They have the best attorneys and they know how get the right amount that you deserved. I Do strongly recommen THE BOBCOCK LAW FIRM LLC about your case gave them a call to get you what you deserve. "

5-star review image
Experience with Babcock Law firm
Workers Compensation  |  Aurora
Retained following a fall at work and settled before Respondent's Division IME.
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"I had the privilege of working with Stephanie Tucker. She was an excellent attorney, she kept me up-to-date on everything going on in my case from beginning to end. I really enjoyed working with her. I would definitely recommend her services to others because she proved that she really cares about her clients and wants to do what she can to help. Thank you Stephanie and Babcock Law firm!"

Read All Reviews

Schedule your free consultation with our attorney. No cost - No commitment.