In Colorado, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol has proven to be a serious problem. Each year, more than 150 people are killed in accidents involving alcohol and many others suffer serious injuries. As a result of these accidents and other negligent behavior behind the wheel, more than 26,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence.
Out of all the motor vehicle deaths in Colorado, more than one-third of them are alcohol-related. Driving under the influence of drugs can be just as dangerous. For example, many fatal accidents in Colorado have also been caused by drivers under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. Nearly 16 percent of fatalities from 2006 to 2010 involved drivers who were drug-impaired. In 2012, 87 people died in accidents at the hands of drugged drivers. With the recent legalization of marijuana for recreational use, it may have become fairly common for people to get behind the wheel after smoking pot. This, of course,is a major concern for law enforcement authorities in Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is doing everything in its power to put an end to these tragic accidents. Officials have implemented “The Heat is On” campaign to increase DUI enforcement and public awareness. Law enforcement agencies have been awarded grants to conduct overtime DUI enforcement. Impaired driving programs are also provided for. Due to the aforementioned legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the CDOT is also working on a new campaign focused specifically on marijuana impaired driving. Officials hope that with these new programs and better enforcement, senseless drunk driving accidents can be avoided.