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4 common questions about driving and decriminalized mushrooms

In 2019, the city of Denver decriminalized the possession of psilocybin, commonly known as magic mushrooms. While mushrooms are still illegal under federal law, city officials decided to make enforcing that law a low priority. As a result, users rarely have to worry about getting arrested or charged with a drug crime for having some magic mushrooms in their possession.

You can read more about this in our recent blog post. But as we discussed in that post, decriminalizing psilocybin has caused some confusion among Denver residents.

Many of them are not sure if they are allowed to drive their vehicles while high on mushrooms. Here are four questions we hear a lot, along with the answers.

Can I get arrested for driving after taking mushrooms?

Yes. You are at risk of getting charged with a crime called driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). The law treats a DUID the same way they deal with a drinking and driving conviction.

But Denver decriminalized mushrooms, right?

Yes, but it’s still against the law to drive while high on mushrooms. Just like how it’s legal to possess and consume alcohol and marijuana, but illegal to drive drunk or high.

What penalties could I face if I’m convicted of DUID?

Sentences range from points on your driver’s license or a license suspension to community service, fines and even jail time.

For a first offense treated as the equivalent of DUI, the judge could suspend your license for nine months, fine you up to $1,000, order you to perform up to 96 hours of community service and/or imprison you for up to a year.

What’s my best option if I got arrested on suspicion of DUID?

Your first move should be to find a defense attorney to represent you. A lawyer who regularly handles impaired driving charges will find out if there are any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and what your options are for dealing with the charges.