Published on February 22nd, 2016 | by News Feed
Marijuana Related DUI’s Fall After Colorado Legalizes Weed
When Colorado began statewide marijuana sales in 2014, critics raised concerns over a potential increase in DUI’s. However, the number of stoned drivers has actually met a small decline, based on reports the Colorado Department of Transportation. In 2015, Colorado troopers gave 4,546 tickets for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). A modest 347 of those motorists were exclusively loaded on Marijuana, a decrease from the 354 cases in 2014. This does not account for the 674 drivers that were cited for a mixture, including marijuana and other intoxicating substances, such as alcohol or other drugs.
Though this minor 1.3 percent decrease is small, many advocates believe that it does point to the fact that legalizing Marijuana, similar to alcohol, does not create additional unruliness and mayhem. Basically, those who are likely to break the law, will do so regardless of whether or not the substance is legal or illegal.
Unfortunately, Colorado’s police are not so convinced that these numbers are a realistic interpretation of what’s happening on the highways. Several believe that it is just too soon to assume the data definitively represents whether or not drivers will use Cannabis responsibly.
In an interview with the Durango Herald, Colorado State Trooper, Josh Lewis said, “From those number we know very little… We don’t know if we’re going to start seeing an increase or decrease. When we get two, three, four, or more years of data, we’ll find those first two years could be very different. We don’t know what way it will be trending.”
In states that allow legalized Marijuana, the penalties for driving high are equal to the consequences of driving intoxicated with any other substances. Due to the fact that pot cannot be detected definitely on scene, it can difficult to ascertain exactly how intoxicated an individual is. So if someone is pulled over simply for being a careless driver, and happens to have just smoked a joint and they show any signs (or smells) of usage, they could get a DUI—even if they are not truly intoxicated.
When drivers are suspected of Marijuana intoxication, they are requested to take a blood test to ensure that the driver does not have in excess of five nomograms in his or her system. If the driver refuses the test, they can expect to have their driver’s license revoked for a minimum of one year. Be safe, don’t smoke and drive!