CO Pot-Driving Citations Down, Officials Still Worry

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The number of Colorado citations for driving while under the influence of marijuana dropped by 33.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year, but the number of people using marijuana and then driving continues to be a concern for officials, reports the Denver Post. “We’re still troubled by the fact that marijuana users are still telling us they routinely drive high,” says Colorado Department of Transportation spokesman Sam Cole. “We’re pleased with the awareness, but we’re not so pleased with the behaviors that are actually happening.” Cole said that in a survey by his agency, 55 percent of marijuana users said they believed it was safe to drive under the influence. Three years ago when recreational marijuana was legalized, the agency started a “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign to raise awareness that driving while stoned was illegal.

Among survey respondents who said they used marijuana within the last 30 days, half of marijuana users say they have driven high.” Despite that, the Colorado State Patrol reported that from January to March, 155 people were cited for marijuana-use-only impairment while driving, compared to 232 cited from January to March of 2016. The number of citations noting combined alcohol and marijuana use also declined, with 50 in the first quarter of 2017 compared with 69 in the first three months of 2016. “Are the citations going down? Yeah, but is the number of people using marijuana and then driving going down? I don’t know how to quantify that,” said Nate Reid , a patrol spokesman.

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