Hey, Colorado — The Cops Know When You’re Driving High
Marijuana is legal in Colorado, and you're allowed to enjoy it. However, local law enforcement wants to remind you not to get high and drive — and to remember that they know when you're doing it.
Like some people think they're okay to drive after a few drinks, you may feel like you can get behind the wheel after a smoke sesh. Whatever your vice, both impressions are wrong.
A new press release from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports that after alcohol, cannabis is the top drug involved in fatal car crashes, accounting for 26% of impairment-caused collisions.
Additionally, in 2019, 68% of drivers who tested positive for marijuana were also drinking, making matters worse. Last year, impaired drivers were responsible for 37% of fatal Colorado crashes.
Officers can also tell when you're driving high (even if it doesn't escalate to an accident) — and they're about to get even better at it.
According to CDOT, law enforcement agencies across the state are now participating in Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) certification training, an effort to help police better identify the behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms of drug impairment.
"CDOT surveys of the general population also show that drug consumers, largely cannabis users, don't think they can get a DUI or that officers can't tell they're high," read the release. "They can on both accounts."
CDOT isn't trying to harsh your mellow, but the agency does believe the DRE endeavor will keep you — and other Colorado residents — safe.
"By investing in specialized training on the behavioral and physiological detection of drug impairment, we hope to bolster law enforcement's ability to effectively combat drug-impaired driving and ultimately save lives," said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of Colorado State Patrol, in the release.
Learn more about Colorado crash data in the gallery below.