Impaired Driving in Colorado: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different
Drugs and alcohol contribute to a large number of accidents in Colorado. Many of those accidents happen because the driver is impaired not by illegal drugs, but legal drugs.
Impaired driving crashes happen daily on Colorado roads and highways and alcohol isn't always to blame. Drug-impaired driving also contributes to those crashes. The message, 'If You Feel Different, You Drive Different' is the name of a new campaign about drugged driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found nearly one in four weekend drivers tested positive for a drug that could impair their ability to drive safely.
In 2017, drivers in fatal automobile accidents in Colorado tested positive for drugs 224 times. Those drugs included stimulants, depressants, narcotics, and active THC. Also, 20 percent of people who use marijuana in Colorado admit to driving after using.
On average, over 60 people in Colorado are arrested each day for impaired driving. Colorado's DUI laws consider driving under the impairment of any substance, including prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, illegal drugs, marijuana, and alcohol to be breaking the law.
Colorado State Patrol Chief Colonel Matt Packard says,
If something impacts your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it makes you a hazard to yourself and to others. Too many times we have had to notify family members that their loved one is not coming home because of a bad decision to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. It's a choice—a deadly choice.
In the past, most awareness campaigns have focused on drinking alcoholic beverages and driving. Now, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have teamed up to focus on drugged driving campaigns to make drivers aware of the many types of drugs that can impair their driving ability.