In the wake of startling new statistics about drugged driving from the Colorado Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) provided to Denver’s ABC-7, a new campaign against drugged driving has taken hold. According to the report, CDOT has provided the following statistics:
- 55% of marijuana users admit driving high in 7 out of the last 30 days;
- 32% of marijuana users think they can drive safely while under the influence of marijuana;
- Only 52% of Coloradans thought they would be pulled over if they were over the legal marijuana limit in Colorado;
- 19% of Colorado State Patrol DUI arrests involve marijuana; and
- More than 80 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 tested positive for marijuana.
CDOT also provided information about the number of specially trained Drug Recognition Experts in Colorado, which currently number over 200.
The report indicates that state troopers have noticed a rise in marijuana-related incidents since legislation was enacted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado. To help continue educating the public on the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs, CDOT has released a new $450,000 campaign to combat drugged driving. This campaign includes internet banner advertisements, online videos, movie theater advertisements, radio commercials, and 20 billboards strategically located near marijuana dispensaries state-wide.
Local marijuana dispensaries will also play an important role in the campaign by carrying rolling papers with a message warning consumers about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. These messages, in combination with CDOT’s media campaign, are aimed at reminding marijuana users that marijuana can impair one’s ability to drive and create dangerous, potentially fatal conditions. While they also serve as a reminder that driving under the influence of drugs is still a serious criminal infraction even though the use of such drugs may otherwise be legal, this campaign is meant to focus more on the potentially deadly effects of driving under the influence of marijuana.
While some of the statistics might seem alarming, it is important to note that fewer people were charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Colorado in 2015 than the previous year. According to an article from The Denver Post published earlier this year, these statistics do not include local police citations for drugged driving. However, the small decline in state trooper citations between 2014 and 2015 may indicate that the money spent on campaigns targeting drugged driving could be well spent when it comes to Coloradans safety while driving. CDOT likely hopes to continue seeing similar decreases in the number of citations for driving under the influence of drugs, thought it will take some time to truly understand the impact that legalization of recreational use of marijuana has had on Colorado drivers.
Legal Assistance for Drug-Related Charges
The legal limit of THC, the active chemical in marijuana, in the bloodstream is five nanograms in Colorado. If you receive chemical testing that indicates your level of THC is about that which is legally allowed, you may be cited for driving under the influence of drugs. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs, consequences can be very severe. Contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation about your drugged driving charges, or other drug-related charges you may be facing.