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DUID risks significant among college freshmen

Denver parents know that peer pressure can be a powerful motivator in a young person’s life. When parents send their kids off to college, most know that some experimentation is likely to take place in that young adult’s life. According to a new study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, that experimentation increasingly involves marijuana.

Almost 44 percent of male college freshman participating in the study reported driving after using marijuana, while just 9 percent of the females said the same. 

For some parents, another statistic from the study might be more worrisome: more than half the males and more than a third of the female students said they had been passengers in vehicles driven by someone who had used marijuana.

An assistant professor of health policy said the study results show an increasing need among students to appoint a substance-free driver before they go out. Here in Colorado, that could significantly reduce the risk of a DUID.

The Boston Globe article on the subject of driving while stoned referred to our state’s “drive high, get a DUI” ad campaign, suggesting that it might be useful for college students across the nation to view.

The article also noted that researchers are actively working on tests to help law enforcement officials more reliably and effectively detect when a driver has used marijuana.

The JAMA Pediatrics study contains good news for parents: just 11 percent of male freshman and 3 percent of female students said they had ever gone drinking and driving.

Anyone facing a DUI or DUID is urged to speak with an attorney about their legal options. 

Source: Boston Globe, "Why do more teens report driving stoned than drunk?" Deborah Kotz, May 19, 2014

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