With the legalization of marijuana in 2014, there has been a significant interest in understanding the impact the legalization may or may not have on criminal cases in Colorado. The results of a study conducted on thousands of DUI cases in 2016 has produced some interesting results. Among the thousands of cases studied, only 6 percent of DUI cases involved marijuana.
While it may seem significant that few DUI cases in 2016 were attributed to operating a vehicle while under the influence of pot, researchers believe the data may be slightly skewed. Testing and confirming the use of alcohol use is easier and less expensive than testing for other impairing substances. Experts believe that in some cases, authorities may have chosen to not test for other substances, making it appear as if the majority of DUIs were attributed to the use of alcohol.
Other data collected may also be useful information for those handling DUI cases. In an astounding 88 percent of DUI cases, defendants were found guilty of their charges or guilty with deferred dismissed disposition. When a defendant is guilty with a deferred judgment, the charges may be dropped as long as terms of probation are met. One percent of defendants in DUI cases were found not guilty and another 10 percent were completely dismissed.
When an individual is charged with a DUI in Colorado, a defense attorney can advise a client on the best defense strategy. The advice is typically based on the collected evidence and the applicable law. Although the statistics note a high conviction rate, the data has no impact on the proof required of prosecutors in a particular case. And when a conviction is unavoidable, defense attorneys can still advocate for deferred judgments and favorable probation terms.