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Denver substance abuse facility sees rise in DUID arrests

There was a gentle snowfall in Denver on the first day of 2014, but the elements didn't deter people from lining up for the openings of Colorado stores legally selling marijuana. In the nearly seven months since, arrests for driving under the influence of drugs have been rising, says a CEO of a Denver area substance abuse treatment center.

The head of the Arapahoe House said that intake data shows that the number of people admitted after being accused of driving while high this year is up more than 70 percent over last year.

By this time in 2013, the three Denver area substance abuse centers had admitted 112 people after arrests involving marijuana and accusations of driving under the influence. Similar admissions are up substantially this year for the same time period: 197.

The CEO of Arapahoe House says people who are charged with DUID should be concerned that their behavior indicates “that a substance abuse problem is emerging.”

He says that too often people believe that if they have consumed small amounts of cannabis that they are capable of driving, when in reality, he says, “if you’re a driver, you shouldn’t use anything” before getting behind the wheel.

It should be noted that the Colorado State Patrol says that they have not noticed a dramatic increase in marijuana use among drivers.

One state trooper said that the process of detecting a driver high on marijuana is much the same as the process of detecting drivers who have had too much alcohol. He said it involves talking to the driver and putting questions to them and then gauging their reactions.

Are arresting officers infallible in making these judgments? Of course not. The accusations can be fought with the assistance of a DUID attorney.

Source: CBS Denver, "Substance Abuse Centers Say Evidence Shows More Coloradans Are Driving Stoned," June 26, 2014

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