Is driving high illegal? The answer to that question is quite simply—yes. The state of Colorado has spent $1 million in the past year on ad campaigns that target high drivers. The “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign sought to spread awareness about the legality and dangers of driving while stoned. However, a CDOT study found that 21% of recreational marijuana users didn’t know it was illegal to drive high.
Until recently, data to assess the problem of driving while under the influence of marijuana has been difficult to collect because court data does not differentiate between DUI’s involving marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs. The task of collecting this data fell to the Colorado State Patrol, which recently posted its first year-long study on stoned driving.
The Denver Post reports that 12.2% of last years DUIs involved suspected marijuana use. This data suggests that the need to continue awareness about the legalities and dangers of driving high is still an important part of the legalization process.
In light of these statistics, the CDOT added another awareness campaign this past spring, entitled “The Heat is On”, to continue to educate Coloradoans of the dangers of stoned driving and the legal implications of driving while high. Frankly, the state is doing its part to educate its citizenry about driving under the influence of marijuana, even working with companies like Lyft and Uber to provide promo codes to reduce the number of DUIs in Colorado.
As a driver, it is your duty to drive safely and legally. Don’t be ill informed when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana. There is plenty of information out there to help you and others stay safe while behind the wheel.