HB 11-1261, THC/DUI Bill
Mon., April 18, 2011
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on HB 11-1261 (THC/DUI Bill)
LOCATION: Capitol Building, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO
ROOM: Old Supreme Court Chambers, 2nd Floor
HB1261, the THC/DUI bill, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee
on April 18, 2011. This will be the final opportunity for public comment on
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to our concerns about patients.
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WARNING: SUSPECTS MAY BE JAILED FOR MONTHS BEFORE RESULTS AVAILABLE
According to the Colorado State Patrol and a local attorney, people
arrested for suspected THC/DUI may have to spend *months in jail* if they
cannot post bond, waiting for their test results. Read these two Westword
blog articles on the issue.
HB1261 seeks to ban patients from driving privileges by setting a limit on
THC in the blood that most patients will always exceed. Any driver with on
amount of THC over 5 nanograms/milliliter in their blood will be considered
impaired and guilty of DUI per se and subject to loss of their driver's
license. This will greatly impact patients, because many of them will test
over that limit and not be impaired, due to their chronic use.
- HB1261 is unfair to medical marijuana patients and will force patients
back on prescription medications that do not have nanogram levels and are
not routinely tested for by the police.
- HB1261 will require a "forced blood draw", forcing anyone suspected of
driving under the influence of THC to submit to a blood draw forced by the
state. Currently, alcohol levels can be tested through urine, breath or
blood. But under the THC/DUI bill, the nanogram count can only come from a
forced blood draw.
- The sponsor of HB1261, Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) admits that she
cannot point to one single accident caused solely by marijuana and that the
research on setting a nanogram limit as evidence of impairment is "all over
- Contrary to other reports, the "per se" part of the bill has *not* been
removed. This means that a person charged with THC/DUI can still introduce
evidence that their blood level was below the "per se" number, but cannot
introduce evidence that, in spite of the number, they were not impaired.
- Ask your Representative to remove the "per se" standard from the bill and
allow patients to present behavioral evidence that they were not impaired.
- Ask your Representative to include an exemption for medical marijuana
Go to the state legislature's page to see the calendar or read the bill.
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