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

BLOG DUI Pot Is Illegal PhotoOn 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


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.

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