A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about a Denver area substance abuse treatment center. The Arapahoe House is back in the news, with its CEO talking to a local newspaper about the increase in drivers coming to the facility after being arrested for DUID (driving under the influence of drugs).
As you might recall, Arapahoe House intake data shows a dramatic increase in people admitted after arrests for driving while high on marijuana, even though overall DUI arrests have remained relatively steady in Colorado since legal marijuana sales began Jan. 1.
Arapahoe House says it has seen an increase this year of about 70 percent in drivers who tell staff that they used marijuana before driving.
Aurora police say they have seen an increase, too: cases of drivers allegedly impaired by marijuana are up this year to 55 from last year’s 42 at a similar point in the calendar. That’s an increase of 25 percent.
The executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group said people shouldn’t draw conclusions from the Arapahoe House data. He points instead to a University of Colorado Denver study that showed legalized marijuana makes roads safer, as people tend to use marijuana at home rather than driving home from bars.
The Aurora police spokesperson said it’s more difficult for officers to detect marijuana use than alcohol use, and that the department worries that some drivers believe driving while stoned is less dangerous than drunk driving.
Those facing either DUI or DUID charges should discuss with an attorney the circumstances of the arrest.
Source: Aurora Sentinel, “ROLLING STONED: DETOX OFFICIALS SEE INCREASE IN DRIVERS ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA INTOXICATION,” Brandon Johansson, July 10, 2014