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“Dangerous Combinations”: CDOT’s Newest Campaign to Deter Drugged Driving

by  on  Accident Attorney

In an effort to remind and educate drivers of the dangers associated with drugged driving, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has come up with a new awareness campaign, “Dangerous Combinations.”

As part of the campaign, individuals will notice a variety of billboards and public service announcement (PSA) videos that are geared toward helping everyone understand the serious nature of driving while high.

CDOT notes that the public service announcements are quite creative in nature. For instance, one PSA was created to appear as though it were a video game. In it, a phrase jumps across the screen, making it difficult for viewers to click it.

The video goes on to explain that 19 percent of Colorado DUIs involve people who are driving while high on marijuana, and it further points out that marijuana actually lowers an individual’s reaction time — thus making him or her an unsafe driver.

Another PSA shows a man’s hands rolling a joint; however, included in the joint is the image of a small automobile that was involved in a collision. The voice on the video states, “Rolling one up now could mean rolling one over later. Driving high impairs your perception of speed, time, and distance. If you’re high, don’t drive.”

A Closer Look at Driving While High

According to a CDOT study conducted in 2015, 55 percent of individuals who use marijuana get behind the wheel of an automobile while high at least seven days per month, on average. So far in 2016, the Department has found that about one out of every five DUIs in Colorado has involved marijuana.

The Department’s safety communications manager stated that CDOT would like individuals who use marijuana to have an awareness and understanding that even if they operate a motor vehicle while they are high, the consequences will be the same as though they were driving while drunk on alcohol.

Marijuana dispensaries are also getting involved in the campaign. Along with the billboards and PSAs, dispensaries throughout Colorado will display educational posters that will be visible to those who buy marijuana in places where the purchases are made.

CDOT also intends to reintroduce the “Slow-Speed Chase,” which involves two automobiles (one covered in a marijuana leaf design and the other decorated like a police cruiser) in a simulated slow-speed chase. Both automobiles will have safety messages on them about marijuana.

What This All Means to You

Under Colorado law, drivers can be prosecuted if a test reveals 5 nanograms of active THC (the psychoactive part of marijuana) in their blood. Still, regardless of what the test reveals, the law allows the police to arrest individuals if they appear to be impaired while driving.

That said, CDOT encourages drivers not to operate motor vehicles while they are under the influence of marijuana. Instead, to ensure they will avoid an auto accident, drivers should seek an alternative means of transportation any time they intend to use marijuana.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident in which you believe drug or alcohol use may have been a factor, contact the Denver accident lawyers at Levine Law today to discuss your case.