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Colorado campaign aims at drugged drivers

It is no surprise that Colorado law enforcement is hard on drunk drivers. And just like in other areas of the country during this time of year, enforcement is out in full force through Labor Day, waiting to find a reason to pull drivers over for suspicion of drunk driving.

But the focus is a bit different this year and broadens police officers' target of impaired drivers. It is a pretty cut-and-dry fact that if a person is caught driving drunk, they could face legal consequences. Colorado law enforcement is trying to better teach that not only alcohol leads to impaired and, therefore, illegal driving. Drugged driving is also against the law.

According to various local sources, a new campaign has recently launched throughout the state. Colorado residents will probably notice posters and billboards in various locations warning them of the dangers of driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

In Colorado, medical marijuana falls into the category of prescription drugs - and the new anti-impaired-driving campaign specifically addresses medical marijuana users. A Denver source reports that one of the campaign's slogans says, "A medical marijuana card isn't a license to drive under the influence."

There are different types of DUIs: alcohol-related DUI and drug-related DUI. Drug DUIs are similar to the traditional drunk driving charge; however, they are more complicated to try in court. Unlike in drunk driving cases, there is no set BAC level that is officially considered over the legal limit.

If a person is arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, an effective legal defense would include testimony from an experienced scientific expert who can refute the prosecution's notion that the defendant was too impaired to drive.

There just is no exact level of impairment that authorities can say leads to legally impaired driving. Should this anti-drugged-driving campaign land you or a loved one in legal trouble, that's an important point to keep in mind.

Source

ABC 7 News: "New Billboards, Posters Target Medical Marijuana Smokers," Deb Stanley, Aug. 18, 2011

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