With the legalization of recreational pot use in Colorado, transportation safety regulators and law enforcement officials have been concerned about the impacts this legalization can have/is having on roadway safety, particularly when it comes to motorists’ sobriety.
In some of the first sets of data related to this issue, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has found that about 12 percent of – or 1 in every 8 – DUI citations issued by CSP officers in 2014 involved suspected marijuana impairment.
Marijuana DUIs in Colorado: A Look at CSP’s Numbers
In particular, in analyzing data from last year, here’s what CSP officials found:
- Nearly 5,550 DUI citations were issued by CSP officers in 2014 (given that about 31,000 DUI arrests are made in Colorado each year, these DUI citations represent about 18 percent – or nearly 1/5 – of the DUI citations that occurred in the state last year).
- Of these, more than 670 (just over 12 percent) were related to alleged marijuana impairment (alone or along with alcohol/other substances).
- In just over 350 of these DUI citations (nearly 6.5 percent of these cases), marijuana was the only intoxicant suspected.
Marijuana DUIs in Colorado: More Studies Needed, Some Say
While the above-noted statistics regarding marijuana DUIs in Colorado are important, they only provide a small window into the actual data regarding these DUI cases, some experts have noted. In particular, some are now calling for more extensive data collection and studies to be conducted in order to better assess the incidence of marijuana DUIs in Colorado (and, with this info, ideally pinpoint better prevention methods and efforts).
Here’s what data was missing from the above numbers and what some are stating needs to be better analyzed this year/moving forward:
- The statewide arrest rates for alleged marijuana DUIs, including numbers from local law enforcement agencies, as well as state sheriffs’ departments
- The levels of intoxication associated with these marijuana DUI cases
- The conviction rates associated with marijuana DUI arrests – This may end up being one of the more complicated data sets to compile and evaluate, as court records for DUI cases do not currently differentiate between alcohol DUIs versus marijuana DUIs.
Adams County and Boulder DUI Attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates
Have you or a loved one been charged with drunk or drugged driving? If so, the Adams County and Boulder DUI attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates are ready to immediately start defending you. Dedicated to providing our clients with the strongest possible defense, our Adams County and Boulder DUI attorneys can guide you through the complexities of the criminal justice system while helping you resolve your DUI case as favorably as possible.