The state is rolling out a new campaign to educate Coloradans about the dangers of driving while impaired. While drunk driving is incredibly dangerous, this campaign focuses on the dangers of driving while impaired by any type of drug, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs.
Impaired driving can be fatal
Every day 60 people are arrested for driving while impaired in Colorado. In 2017, people in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs 244 times in Colorado. These drivers were found with depressants, stimulants, narcotics and THC in their systems.
The new awareness campaign features the slogan, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.” The message seeks to remind drivers that if they feel impaired, they should not get behind the wheel.
Being impaired can affect your ability to judge safety risks
An administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated the campaign wants to raise awareness that being under the influence of drugs can also impair your ability to decide whether it is okay to drive. Anything that affects your ability to drive makes you a hazard to yourself and other drivers on the road, stated an officer with the Colorado State Patrol.
Any observed impairment can lead to a DUI arrest
There are also legal repercussions for drugged driving. A Colorado driver can get a DUI for driving under the influence of any drug. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), a driver with five nanograms of THC in their blood can be charged with DUI. However, police officers can arrest any driver that they observe showing signs of impairment.
Using drugs before driving can:
- Slow drivers’ reactions
- Impair a driver’s ability to think
- Hinder judgement
- Affect muscle control
- Lead to speeding, weaving and other unsafe driving
The campaign is sponsored by CDOT, NHTSA, the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving. The groups hope to reduce the number of impaired drivers on Colorado roads and in turn, reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents.