CDOT campaign highlights dangers of driving high

Posted at 9:48 PM, May 17, 2016

Billboards strategically located near dispensaries warn people about the dangers of driving high. The messages are part of CDOT's new $450,000 drugged driving campaign.

Previous campaigns have focused on educating drivers that they can be cited for driving under the influence. This time around, CDOT wants to highlight the potentially deadly effects.

"Our surveys show that people know you can get a DUI for driving high but marijuana users are still driving high," said Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager.

The campaign will include 20 billboards state-wide, radio commercials, movie theater ads, online video and online banners.

The department is also teaming up with local dispensaries to get the word out. Papers used to roll joins will include a message warning marijuana dangers about impaired driving. Medicine Man already has posters reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel high. 

State troopers say they have noticed more marijuana-related incidents on the road since legislation.

"So when I responded the driver had already been stopped by others motorists a car in front and a car behind him, while I was talking with the driver they were nodding off, if you will. While I was trying to talk with him eyelids droopy, they were confused as to where they were," said Trooper Steven Gaynor.

CDOT provided the following statistics:

  • 55 percent of marijuana users admit driving high in 7 of the last 30 days (CDOT survey)
  • 32 percent of users think they are safe to drive under the influence of marijuana (CDOT survey)
  • In 2014, more than 80 drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for marijuana
  • Only 52 percent of Coloradans thought that they would get pulled over if they were over the legal limit for marijuana
  • Colorado has over 200 specially trained Drug Recognition Experts
  • 19 percent of DUI arrests by Colorado State Patrol involve marijuana