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Marijuana DUI standard dies a 3rd time in CO

Blood standard for driving under influence of marijuana rejected for 3rd time in Colorado By The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) ' A marijuana blood limit for drivers was rejected Tuesday for a third time in Colorado, as lawmakers from both parties argued about how to fairly gauge whether someone is too stoned to get behind the wheel.

The bill would have made Colorado the third state in the nation with a blood-level limit for marijuana, much as the nation has a blood-alcohol limit of .08.

Currently, drugged-driving convictions depend on officer observations.



The Colorado Senate fell a single vote short on the bill setting a drivers' blood standard for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The measure failed on a 17-17 tie, one vote short of the number needed to advance it.

Earlier Tuesday, the House signed off again on the bill that would limit drivers to 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

Marijuana activists and some lawmakers from both parties argued that the blood standard is an unfair measure of driver impairment.

"I don't think it'll make our roads any safer," argued Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman.

Some Republican opposed the bill, too, arguing that prosecutors already succeed in most drugged-driving cases, and the measure considered Tuesday should have targeted more than just marijuana use.

A similar bill failed last year by a single vote in the Senate, and another version died last week when the regular session concluded. Tuesday's Senate vote marks the third time in two years lawmakers have failed to agree on a so-called "D-U-High" standard.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper added drugged driving to a list of measures he asked lawmakers to consider in the special legislative session expected to end Wednesday.

Voters in Washington state will consider a 5 nanogram THC driving limit this fall on a ballot measure about marijuana legalization.

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Follow Kristen Wyatt at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt

Online:

House Bill S-1005: http://goo.gl/uLohi


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