DUI and Marijuana: Tough Penalties Follow DUI Marijuana Convictions In Colorado

small picture of attorney bill henry
By: Bill Henry
PublishedAug 21, 2018

UpdatedDec 23, 2022
3 minute read

Picture of a Marijuana plant that was smoked before an arrest for DUI
Even though Amendment 64 made it legal for Coloradans to possess a small amount of marijuana, driving under the influence of the drug is still considered a crime in the state. Any man or woman police detain who is significantly impaired in the operation of their vehicle faces the possibility of serious penalties.

Adult penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana

If you are convicted of driving a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, you may have your driver’s license suspended and you may face one of the following penalties, depending on how many times you have been charged with this offense in the past:

  • First offense. You will face up to nine months of suspension of your driver’s license, between five days and one year of jail time, a fine of $600-$1,000 and between 48 and 96 hours of public service.
  • Second offense. You can face up to a year of license suspension, between 10 days and a year in jail, a fine of between $600 and $1,500, and between 48 and 120 hours of community service.
  • Third offense and beyond. You face up to two years of license suspension, between 60 days and a year in jail, a fine of $600 to $1,500, and between 48 and 120 hours of community service.
  • Third or greater offense within seven years. In addition to the penalties outlined above, you may have your license revoked for five years and be regarded as a habitual traffic offender.

Minors’ Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

If you are under 21 you also face stiff penalties for committing a DUI:

  • First offense. Three months of license suspension. The minor will also be fined $100 and be required to spend up to 24 hours in public service.
  • Second offense. Six months of license suspension.
  • Third and subsequent offenses. One year of license suspension

Impaired Driving Penalties

Even if you are not so significantly impaired that you are issued a DUI citation, you can still be charged with impaired driving if your driving was even slightly affected by your use of marijuana.

Penalties include:

  • First offense. Potential sentence of between two and 180 days in jail, a fine of between $200 and $500, and 24 to 48 hours of community service.
  • Subsequent offenses. Further offenses may result in you facing the same penalties as those listed above for DUI second, third and subsequent convictions.

What’s the difference between a suspended license and a revoked license?

When your license is suspended, you face a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges. Your license is restricted not voided. You can again be issued a valid driver’s license.

If your license is revoked, it is invalid and cannot be reissued. If your driving privileges are later reinstated, you must retake both the written and driving tests before you can be issued a new license.

A lot at stake with a marijuana DUI conviction

A DUI can seriously impact your life, particularly if you depend on your vehicle for your employment. When you become involved with the judicial system through a DUI citation, you will face both a criminal hearing and an administrative hearing. You need the advice of a seasoned criminal attorney to help you minimize the damage a DUI can cause to your life and future. It is typical that if you don’t request your hearing within seven days of your DUI arrest, you will face an automatic license suspension. Opting for a hearing at least gives you an opportunity to keep your driver’s license, though there are no guarantees.

Essentially, the administrative hearing is held to decide whether your license will be suspended or revoked. The arresting officer tells his or her story of events at this hearing. It’s important to have your attorney present. He or she has been trained to listen for cracks in the officer’s story that should be further explored and for other evidence that may deserve closer scrutiny. The bottom line is, your lawyer is your advocate at these proceedings who will be looking for ways to lessen your sentence and/or cast doubt on charges.

You need a Colorado Criminal attorney to help you

If you find yourself under arrest for marijuana DUI, make your first phone call to us at 303-688-0944. Our criminal defense attorneys are well familiar with effective defense strategies against these often difficult to prove charges. In addition, we will use our skills to help you secure a red license, which will allow you to drive to and from your work and handle other necessary tasks during this difficult time.

We are the legal representatives to call if you live in Castle Rock, Douglas County, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, or anywhere else in the south metro Denver region. We understand you have a lot at stake with marijuana DUI conviction. Trust your outcome to our attorneys who know the system, the judges and how to present your case to achieve the best possible outcome.

More Than Just Lawyers. Lawyers for Your Life.

Learn more about our law firm’s philosophy and values.