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Can you be charged with stoned driving in Colorado?

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado is still relatively new. Many people are still unaware of what is legal and what is not, especially when it comes to driving.

So, do DUI laws apply to drivers who have been smoking marijuana?


An individual who is found to be driving with 5 nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their system can be charged with DUI. However, a police officer can pull a driver over if they suspect that the driver is impaired - no matter what their level of THC. This applies to drivers who are using marijuana for medicinal as well as recreational purposes.

The penalies, if convicted of DUI, are the same whether the driver is impaired by alcohol or marijuana, or both. If the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing during a traffic stop, his or her license can be revoked. If convicted of DUI, the driver can face:

  • First offense: Up to 9 months license suspension, 5 days to one year in jail, fines of up to $1,000, public service.
  • Second offense: Up to 12 months license suspension, 10 days to one year in jail, fines of up to $1,500, public service.
  • Third offense: Up to 2 years license suspension, 60 days to two years in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, public service.

A conviction for impaired driving - which is different than DUI - may result in jail time, fines, and public service.

If you have been charged with DUI or impaired driving in Colorado (involving alcohol or drugs), you can learn about your legal options by contacting one of the experienced attorneys of Cantafio Hammond. We offer a free initial consultation at both of our offices in Denver and Steamboat Springs.

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