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Is drugged driving a big problem in Colorado?

In the eyes of the defendants charged with DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) and the police personnel who must enforce the law, it would indeed seem to be a big problem. The new, more lenient laws governing marijuana, for instance, have muddied the works for some police officers as well as for the state's prosecutors. Caught in the middle are the people who enjoy using the drug for recreational or even medicinal purposes.

What you should know is that the change in Colorado's legislature regarding marijuana does not mean you can consume the substance and get behind the wheel of your car. Look at it this way: Alcohol is legal to consume but it is still against the law to drink and drive. It is the same for drugs of any kind, even the fully legal pain medication your doctor prescribed. Unfortunately, many people do not realize driving under the influence of drugs can be just as unsafe as alcohol.

Here are some facts from 2010 for you to consider:

-- 448 people died in automobile accidents in Colorado

-- 62 of these fatal crashes involved a person driving under the influence of drugs

-- 32 drivers who tested positive for drug use had consumed marijuana

-- Almost half of the drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for drug use

As you might do after consuming alcohol, you would be wise to refrain from driving after using drugs. While the laws regarding possession and other elements of drug use have changed, the DUI and DUID laws remain in place to protect all of Colorado's residents. If you do get arrested and charged for DUID, there is hope for you yet. You will need an aggressive attorney who knows how to negotiate, investigate and uncover the positive elements of your case.

Source: olorado Department of Transportation, "Colorado Drugged Driving Fact Sheet," accessed June 16, 2016

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