Safety

Drugged Driving

Joint Car

In response to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, CDOT launched Drive High, Get a DUI—a public outreach and education campaign to raise awareness about the dangers and laws surrounding driving while under the influence of cannabis.

People continue to die on Colorado roads due to impaired driving, and CDOT hopes this campaign will communicate three main ideas to cannabis consumers and the general public: driving high is illegal, driving high is dangerous, and plan ahead to find a sober ride.

Campaign materials available here to view and download.

Driving High is Dangerous

Cannabis, just like alcohol, has measurable physiological effects that impair your ability to drive and react quickly in critical situations. Marijuana affects reaction time, short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and perception of time and distance. Even if you think you're a better driver when you're high...you're not.

Driving High is Illegal
Consuming any amount of marijuana before or during driving will put you at risk for DUI. A DUI can cost you more than $13,500, in addition to jail time.

  • Driving high is a prosecutable offense — even if you have a prescription.
  • Wait until you're home; it's illegal to use marijuana anywhere in public, including your vehicle. All cannabis products must be in a sealed container and away from the driver area.
  • As with alcohol, there is an established impairment level in Colorado: five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the active psychoactive component of marijuana—per milliliter of whole blood.

For more information, visit our frequently asked questions about the law and driving page.

Use the quick links on this page to get more information on the drugged driving campaign in Colorado.


Colorado Drugged Driving at a Glance

2016:

  • One-third of fatalities involved an impaired driver. That’s 196 fatalities.
  • More than 17 percent of all DUI arrests from the Colorado State Patrol in 2016 involved marijuana.
  • According to a 2016 survey conducted by CDOT, 55 percent of marijuana users said they believed it was safe to drive under the influence of marijuana.

See more drugged driving statistics.


Law Enforcement Can Spot the Signs.

Regardless of the impairing substance, the skills needed to drive safely are negatively impacted by many drugs, including cannabis. Marijuana can impair reaction time, judgment, motor skills and perception of time and distance.

Colorado law enforcement officers are trained in the detection of impairment of alcohol and drugs, and many are specially trained drug recognition experts (DRE). These officers have the ability to detect physical signs of drug impairment. DREs are viewed as one of the most effective law enforcement tools in efforts to reduce drugged driving. From 2012 to 2014, there was a 68 percent increase in the number of Drug Recognition Experts trained in Colorado.


Plan Ahead: Find a Sober Ride

Colorado is a leader in the nation for public transportation. If you can’t find someone to designate as a sober driver, there are many other ways to get around. Download the CDOT R-U-Buzzed mobile app to access ride-hailing, taxi and public transportation resources.

Contact Us
  • Glenn Davis
    Highway Safety Manager
    303-757-9462
    Email Glenn.

  • Carol Gould
    Highway Safety Manager/State DRE Coordinator
    303-757-9468
    Email Carol.

  • Leslie Chase
    High-Visibility Enforcement
    303-512-5003
    Email Leslie.

  • Media Contact:
    Sam Cole
    Communications Manager
    303-757-9484
    Email Sam.
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