At a press conference Thursday, the Colorado Department of Transportation made history by announcing the launch of an education campaign targeted at drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana, according to a press release.
In 2012, there were 630 drivers involved in 472 motor vehicle fatalities on Colorado roadways. Of the 630 drivers involved, 286 were tested for drugs. Nearly 27 percent of the drivers tested had a positive drug test, with 12 percent of those testing positive for cannabis.
The official kick-off of CDOT’s new Drive High, Get a DUI campaign includes a series of television commercials that will air during shows targeting males between the ages 21 to 34, who tend to have the highest number of DUIs. There also will be widespread outreach to rental car companies and dispensaries to inform tourists and marijuana users about marijuana driving laws in Colorado.
In September 2013, CDOT conducted a phone survey of 770 Coloradans about their attitudes and behaviors related to marijuana and driving. About two-thirds of marijuana users consumed it at least once per month, and 28 percent of users were partaking daily. Twenty-one percent of respondents who said they used marijuana in the past year had driven a motor vehicle after consuming marijuana within the past month. Those who drove within two hours of using marijuana did so 17 times per month, on average.
Those who had used marijuana in the past year were half as likely to think a person would get a DUI if they drove within an hour after using marijuana as compared to those who had never used marijuana. This also highlighted the need to educate drivers that if they drive high, they can get a DUI.
CDOT reminds drivers to watch for wildlife
The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to watch out for wildlife crossing roadways, especially at night. CDOT is asking people to stay alert and follow the roadside reminders to slow down at night in specifically designated wildlife corridors. It’s up to motorists to do what CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and numerous other agencies always have recommended.