Driving Stoned: Are Field Sobriety Tests and Drug Recognition Experts the Next Big Step?


On Friday, the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs hosted its first Buechner Breakfast of the 2014-2015 school year. The topic: “Driving Stoned: The Challenges of Regulating Marijuana and Driving.”
Most of the arguments about marijuana impairment and driving that panelists Robert Ticer (chief of the Avon Police Department and chair of the Impaired Driving Task Force) and Mike Elliott (executive director of Marijuana Industry Group) traded back-and forth were not new. But some of the audience commentary shed light on alternatives to testing blood for THC.

Elliott and Ticer began by providing an overview of the current driving-while-impaired marijuana-related law and stated opposing positions; Ticer would like to see the five nanogram THC limit lowered and the law changed to a “per-se” legal slant instead of the current “permissible inference” wording. (“Permissible inference” means that drivers can argue that they were not impaired in front of a jury; a “per se” reading of the law would mean that drivers would be considered intoxicated if they met or surpassed the legal blood limit and no argument otherwise would be possible.) Elliott countered that the current law represents a decent compromise between the marijuana and law-enforcement realms and that it should not be changed.
More over at the Denver Westword.