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New DUI/DUID/DWAI campaign targets pot users in Colorado

The transportation department in Colorado recently launched a DUI-related campaign following a study that revealed a startling statistic. According to the 2014 study, more than 40 percent of marijuana users in the state did not realize that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. The purpose of the campaign, which includes a television ad and poster, is to ensure that the public is educated about DUI/DUID/DWAI.

Another aim of the Colorado campaign is to make sure that police officers conducting patrols are trained to spot drug impairment. This is critical since the state has legalized both recreational marijuana use and medical marijuana use. According to authorities, people were already driving under the influence of pot even before Colorado legalized its medical use back in 2000 and its recreational use in 2014. Legalization simply led to a small increase in the quantity of motorists who are caught using pot behind the wheel.

Colorado officials are adamant about cracking down on DUI in Colorado because they said that cannabis has the potential to impair a driver's performance for about three hours after it has been used. The drug is also said to impair coordination as well as distance estimation. However, Colorado police still arrest many more intoxicated drivers than they do high drivers. Besides marijuana, police have arrested drivers on charges of using stimulants, depressants, inhalants, narcotics, hallucinogens and PCP, along with other dissociative anaesthetics.

If a person ends up being accused of DUI/DUID/DWAI, he or she is presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty in court. In court, prosecutors have the burden of proving an individual's charges beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be handed down. Anyone facing DUI-related charges has the same legal rights that people facing other types of charges are guaranteed.

Source: cleveland.com, "Colorado tries to steer drugged drivers off the road (video)", Sabrina Eaton, June 24, 2015

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