With the big change to Colorado marijuana laws that took effect on the first day of the year, law enforcement agencies have been vocal about their efforts to arrest people who drive while high. You might well recall the Department of Transportation’s attempt to make the point with its “Drive High, Get a DUI” PR effort.
The Denver Westword website recently noted that despite the ads and press conferences about stoned drivers, it’s been difficult to assess just how big of a problem the drivers truly pose. However, the site recently delved into data gathered from a Larimer County checkpoint that gives readers some idea of the current discrepancy between DUIs involving alcohol and DUIDs involving marijuana.
It should be noted that the raw data cannot be used to make blanket statements about the ratio of alleged drunk driving to alleged stoned driving.
That said, the checkpoint was conducted a bit more than a week ago by the Fort Collins Police Department and Larimer County’s DUI unit. The Colorado State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies were also involved. During the approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes of the checkpoint, 22 arrests were made. Twenty were for DUI or DWAI, while another was for underage consumption of alcohol.
In just one case did officers arrest a person for marijuana possession.
Can the results of this single sobriety checkpoint be used to describe a statewide trend? No. But it’s an interesting glimpse at what officers found one night.
Those facing a DUI, DWAI or a DUID should speak with an attorney experienced in all three types of cases.
Source: Westword, “Marijuana: Ratio of alcohol DUI busts to pot stops at weekend checkpoint was 21 to 1,” Michael Roberts, May 13, 2014