Briefs for Jan. 10, 2014: Driving under influence of marijuana illegal |

Briefs for Jan. 10, 2014: Driving under influence of marijuana illegal

Driving under influence of marijuana is illegal

As new laws based on Amendment 64 continue to regulate the possession and use of recreational marijuana, the Colorado State Patrol reminds motorists that driving while impaired by marijuana (or any other substance) is illegal, according to a press release.

Recent legal changes that loosen regulations governing the purchase, possession and consumption of marijuana by people 21 and older do not mitigate motorists’ responsibility to drive sober at all times.

All Colorado State Patrol troopers are trained in the detection of impairment from alcohol, drugs and other substances. Also, many troopers have received additional training as certified drug recognition experts. During the course of a traffic contact, any driver suspected of driving while impaired by marijuana may be asked to complete voluntary roadside maneuvers and submit to a chemical test. Refusal of a chemical test results in stricter penalties than compliance.

State grants available to help cut wildfire risk

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for a second round of awards under the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program, according to a press release.

This phase will provide $5.2 million in grants to reduce the risk of wildfire in areas where human development and forested lands overlap, often called the wildland-urban interface.
The program, created under Senate Bill 13-269 and passed last year by the Colorado General Assembly, focuses on projects that reduce the risk for damage to property, infrastructure and water supplies, and those that limit the likelihood of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Funds will be directed to non-federal lands within Colorado.

The first round of grants, totaling just more than $4 million, was awarded to 25 recipients in 16 counties in August.

Eligible applicants include community groups, local governments, utilities, state agencies and nonprofit groups. Applicants must contribute matching funds, which can include in-kind resources, for a 50-50 grant-to-match ratio. Applicants also must identify plans to make use of the woody material resulting from the projects. Those plans can include using the materials for biomass energy and/or traditional forest products.

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