Now that both medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, law enforcement agencies are concerned about a possible rise in the number of individuals driving while under the influence of this drug. DUI attorneys serving Denver have noticed an uptick in enforcement efforts by local law enforcement officers, which comes on the heels of a new public awareness campaign designed to highlight the dangers of driving while drugged. While police officers in Colorado may be more apt to pull over a driver suspected of being under the influence of marijuana, DUI lawyers note that it may be difficult to prove impairment. Even if a driver is over the legal limit for active THC, a DUI lawyer may successfully argue that he or she was not impaired while driving since the drug affects people differently.
Marijuana DUI Initiative
The Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT) created a series of television ads aimed at men between the ages of 21 and 34. This demographic has a high rate of DUI convictions. The purpose of the “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign is to make Colorado residents aware that law enforcement agencies treat drugged drivers as they would treat drivers impaired by alcohol. The campaign was born of extensive consumer research that revealed many people believed marijuana does not adversely affect driving ability. In addition to the TV ads, the campaign involves outreach initiatives to dispensaries and car rental companies, since they serve marijuana tourists who may not be familiar with Colorado’s laws.
Marijuana DUI TV Ads
Colorado residents who ignore the message of the “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign may soon find themselves consulting a criminal lawyer. The ads, which are meant to take a neutral stance toward legalization itself, feature a number of characters trying to complete simple, everyday tasks while high on marijuana. For example, one character tries repeatedly to operate a gas grill, but because he is impaired, he does not realize it lacks a propane tank. The ads are meant to convey the idea that if marijuana prevents individuals from completing everyday tasks, they aren’t in any condition to drive safely.