Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

On Thursday, February 19, a Denver federal judge sentenced two men, Daniel Bernier and Altaf Hussain Dandia, to 3.5 years in prison and five years’ probation, respectively. These two men were part of a group of nine peddling the synthetic drug known as “spice” or “K2,” a dangerous substance marketed as a weed substitute. It is created by spraying benign leaves with various imported Chinese chemicals to produce a powerful high. Spice’s constantly changing chemical makeup means that no one can really predict the effects of the harsh potpourri. In late 2013, the Centennial state dealt with a spate of hospitalizations resulting from spice; some people were seriously ill, while others were beset by hallucinations. One teen died, and several other people tried to light themselves on fire or, to put it lightly, autodecapitate themselves. With effects like these, it seems an odd choice to choose spice over weed – but here’s the kicker: Weed stays in your system for a long time and is easily detectable. Often, spice does not. Workers or members of the military at risk of losing their jobs due to marijuana use might substitute spice to avoid testing, despite the dangers of the synthetic drug. Do Police Test Drivers for Spice? Because spice generally leaves the body quickly, you might think that spice can help prevent you from being caught driving high. That is not true – police can still arrest you for suspicion of DUI if you are acting impaired. Dilated pupils, watery red eyes, incoherence, hallucinations, increased heart rate – exhibiting any of these symptoms of spice intoxication can still raise red flags. DUI Matters – Denver Drunk Driving Lawyers Source: Did You Know? Spice was legal in the United States until 2012. It was classified as a Schedule I drug after an Iowan teen shot himself after using it.

(Don’t) Spice Up Your Life: Synthetic Drug DUIs

On Thursday, February 19, a Denver federal judge handed down sentences to two individuals, Daniel Bernier and Altaf Hussain Dandia. Bernier received a prison sentence of 3.5 years, while Dandia was sentenced to five years of probation. These sentences were the result of their involvement in a group of nine individuals who were engaged in the illegal distribution of the synthetic drug known as “spice” or “K2.” Spice is a dangerous substance marketed as a synthetic alternative to marijuana. It is created by spraying harmless plant leaves with a mixture of various imported chemicals, often from China, to produce a potent and unpredictable high.

One of the most concerning aspects of spice is its ever-changing chemical composition, making it nearly impossible to predict its effects. In late 2013, Colorado experienced a wave of hospitalizations linked to spice use, with individuals suffering from severe illnesses and hallucinations. Tragically, a teenager lost their life during this period, and several others engaged in self-destructive behaviors, such as attempting self-immolation or self-harm.

Considering the serious risks associated with spice, it raises questions about why some individuals opt for this dangerous substance over marijuana. One possible explanation is that marijuana remains detectable in the system for an extended period, making it vulnerable to drug tests. In contrast, spice often evades detection. This might appeal to workers or military personnel who fear job loss due to marijuana use but are willing to use spice, despite the inherent dangers of this synthetic drug.

However, it is crucial to understand that law enforcement agencies can still apprehend individuals for driving under the influence (DUI) if they suspect impairment due to spice use. Spice’s rapid elimination from the body does not provide a foolproof method to avoid detection. Police officers are trained to recognize signs of impairment, which may include dilated pupils, bloodshot and watery eyes, incoherence, hallucinations, and an elevated heart rate. Displaying any of these symptoms can raise suspicions of spice intoxication, potentially leading to DUI charges.

The case of Bernier and Dandia serves as a stark reminder of the legal consequences associated with the distribution and use of synthetic drugs like spice. The severity of the sentences imposed by the Denver federal judge underscores the gravity of engaging in such illegal activities and the potential harm caused to individuals and the community at large.

In situations where individuals face legal issues related to alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, Thomas & Ahnell, LLC is a reputable law firm dedicated to providing expert legal representation and guidance. Their specialized focus on alcohol and drug-related DUI cases in Colorado positions them as a trusted ally for individuals navigating the complexities of such legal matters.

While spice may offer a temporary escape from detection, the risks associated with its use far outweigh any potential benefits. Engaging in responsible and legal behaviors is the most effective way to safeguard one’s well-being and avoid legal troubles.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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