From 2014 to 2015, the number of motorists in Colorado who were cited for allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana declined, according to the latest reports from the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).
While this is only the second year that authorities have been tracking marijuana-related DUI citations in the state, it may be the start of a promising trend – as well as indication that public awareness campaigns and statewide DUI crackdowns are having a positive impact on public safety.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
According to CSP:
- In 2014, troopers issued 354 DUI citations to drivers suspected of marijuana impairment (and only marijuana impairment). A total of 674 DUI citations were issued for alleged marijuana impairment (when marijuana was suspected to be just one of the intoxicants).
- In 2015, these numbers fell to 347 (for pot-only DUIs) and 665 (for DUIs in which pot was thought to be just one of the intoxicants).
Here, it is also critical to point out that:
- This data does not include arrest information from other local law enforcement agencies in the state, so the actual number of pot-related DUI arrests across the state are likely far greater.
- CSP has spearheaded the efforts to track pot-related DUI citations in Colorado, and other agencies are expected to follow suit in the coming months (or years).
- While DUI citations can specify when drug impairment is suspected, there is not currently an effective way of tracking how pot-related DUI cases fair in court (as there are not separate DUI charges for pot or drug DUIs versus for alcohol DUIs in Colorado).
Commenting on the importance of tracking pot DUI citations and ongoing public education efforts, Amy Ford, a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), has stated:
Our research indicates that unfortunately a lot of marijuana users are driving high and many believe they will not get a DUI for doing so… Our goal is to keep our roadways safe from impaired drivers, which will take a combination of strong enforcement and public education targeted at marijuana users.
What do you think about CSP’s findings and the initial downward trend in pot-related DUI citations in Colorado? Sound off on Facebook & Google+ pages.
Contact a Boulder DUI Attorney at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates
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