Marijuana DUI Bill Fails Again In Colorado


Timothy Tipton
The Colorado Senate on Tuesday afternoon killed a marijuana DUI bill

A marijuana DUI bill early Tuesday afternoon failed again to clear the Colorado Senate, once again being voted down.

The DUI bill has been a rollercoaster for the past two years, reports Michael Roberts at Denver Westword, perhaps due at least partially to the fact that there’s no solid science supporting the proposed limit of five nanograms per milliliter (5 ng/ml) as being at all correlated with actual driving impairment.
Failure of the bill once again in the Colorado Legislature (for the third time) may have reverberations all the way to the U.S. West Coast, since an identical DUI limit — 5 ng/ml — currently threatens to derail a semi-legalization initiative, I-502, in Washington state.

The DUI bill, HBS-1005, reportedly lost on a 217-7 stand-up vote in the Senate, according to Denver activist Timothy Tipton.
After the Senate voted down the bill on the informal stand-up vote, an effort to revive it failed on a 17-17 split because one key supporter was absent, according to Nunn, Colorado-based activist Rev. B. Baker.
The tie couldn’t be broken, despite several attempts to do so, reports Michael Roberts at Westword
The missing vote was that of Sen. Nancy Spence (R-Centennial), who supported the DUI bill but was on vacation. Spence also the deciding vote on a nearly identical bill in the Legislature’s regular session.
The marijuana DUI bill now won’t be coming back until at least the next legislative session in 2013.
Currently in Colorado and most other states, drugged-driving convictions depend on officer observations; actual impairment, rather than an artificial cut-off point like 5 ng/ml, is the determining factor.