Colorado's Mysterious Marijuana DUID Numbers

With one year of data, it's hard to perceive a trend.


Colorado State Patrol

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) reports that marijuana was involved in about 12 percent of DUI citations issued by its troopers in 2014, the first year during which it was legal to sell cannabis for recreational purposes. Out of 5,546 total DUI citations, 354 (6.4 percent) involved marijuana alone, while 320 (5.8 percent) involved marijuana along with alcohol or another drug. It looks like alcohol was involved in nearly nine out of 10 DUI citations by the CSP.

You may wonder how these numbers have changed since 2013, when possession, sharing, and home cultivation of marijuana were legal but sales had not started yet; since 2012, when voters approved legalization; or since the years before then. We don't know, because the CSP started keeping track of marijuana's DUI share only last year. We also don't know how many of the 674 marijuana-related DUI citations resulted in convictions, or how many of the convictions involved drivers who were actually impaired by marijuana, since Colorado presumptively equates a blood THC concentration of five nanograms per milliliter with driving under the influence of a drug (DUID), even though many regular users can safely operate a vehicle at that level.

If there were an upward trend in marijuana-related citations, that could reflect an increase in the number of dangerously stoned drivers, the broadened definition of DUID adopted in 2013, an increase in the number of drivers who have detectable amounts of THC in their blood but are not necessarily impaired, an increase in police attention to marijuana-impaired drivers following legalization, or some combination of those four things. For what it's worth, the CSP has not released accident data for 2014 yet, but in 2013, the first full year following legalization, CSP troopers investigated 480 crashes involving alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers that resulted in death or injury, compared to an average of 531 in the previous four years.

More on stoned drivers here.

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  1. Colorado has a Druid problem?

    1. “yeah man, like, look… you’re totally going to need a permit for this stone…temple…thing… sundial-astrolabe or whatever you called it… because, like, the environment? also, dude, skiiers are REALLY not going to like how you put that right in the middle of the bowl here, man. But the robes are cool man, very flowing”

      1. It’s a Henge. An artisanaly constructed Henge, made of sustainable materials.

        1. Who the fuck builds a Stonehenge?

          Two Stone Age-guys wondering what to do
          Who just said: “Dude, let’s build a henge or two!”

          1. That link was a crime.

            This was the REAL LINK

  2. I’d be fine getting rid of per se DUI standards, but if the argument was “treat it like alcohol!!!!!!”, alcohol has an arbitrary per se standard. So, you know. It’s being treated like alcohol.

    Turns out, alcohol is legal only in a very restricted sense. Same with pot, now.

  3. The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) reports that marijuana was involved in about 12 percent of DUI citations issued by its troopers in 2014

    Define “involved”.

    1. Same as if you’re stopped at a red light, buzzed, and someone rear ends you, completely their fault. That’s an accident involving alcohol. If they fly through their windshield and die, and they were completely sober, that’s an alcohol-related fatality.

      I’m going to guess it’s the same way here. If there was a joint in the center console, marijuana was “involved”.

      1. Yep. If someone in an accident was under the influence, then it is automatically assumed to be their fault. In the scenario you suggest, the police report wouldn’t even mention that the buzzed person was rear ended. The cop will write some fiction that says the buzzed person caused the accident.

        I know. I’ve been there.

        1. Happened to some dude my dad knew. Was drunk, got rear-ended, ends up with a DUI. Because the sober person who was 100% at fault for the accident wasn’t imbibing the demon rum.

          1. While riding a bicycle after a few drinks I got hit by some kid who ran a red light. Cop gave me a DUI and made no mention in the report that the kid who hit me ran a red light, despite many witnesses telling the cop that the kid caused the accident. While I didn’t know at the time that you could get a DUI on a bicycle, I admit that I broke the law. However to this day I resent having to pay restitution to fix the car that hit me, all thanks to a dishonest cop (is there any other kind?).

            1. This is what happens when our ever so enthusiastic law makers set out to ‘save the children’ just a little more.

              Just like that recent trend of sex trafficking bills they’ve latched onto. You know that laws won’t help anyone, but will make people guilty of things by default even when they aren’t at fault and haven’t done anything otherwise illegal.

              We just need to repeal the nanny state period. How do we do that?

              1. We just need to repeal the nanny state period. How do we do that?

                I don’t think it is possible. If history is any guide, then government is a one-way ratchet that tightens until everything breaks. As society cleans up the mess, you hope that the next ratchet isn’t worse.

    2. Some dealer gets shot and it’s a drug-related death.

      Somebody robs a liquor store…… think it’s labeled an alcohol-related death?

  4. I read =Colorado’s Mysterious Marijuana DUID

    ….and I saw this

  5. Unless you are a complete fucking idiot, there is no way you should get DUI for being stoned (unless they start forcing blood tests on people a whole lot more). At least if you smoke enough that you know what it does to you. Obviously if you are the one hit wonder, you probably shouldn’t be driving.

    Pretty much any symptom can be blamed on tiredness and allergies.

    1. That’s what I don’t get about this article.

      This blurb appears:
      “since Colorado presumptively equates a blood THC concentration of five nanograms per milliliter with driving under the influence of a drug (DUID),”

      But how many DUI stops involve blood analysis? Can THC be detected in using a breathalyzer?

      It brings me back to what someone else asked above: What does “marijuana was involved” mean?

  6. I won’t drive stoned because when I do I have a difficult time keeping a steady velocity (I tend to drive under the speed limit), and I forget where I am. So I get people riding my ass while I look for a place to turn around. Dangerous? No. Fun? Again, no.

    1. I won’t drive stoned because pot is for retards, and I will fight to the death to protect your right to engage in retard pot use.

  7. Colorado’s Mysterious Marijuana DUID Numbers

    These DUIDS?

  8. How are they determining that someone is DUI with cannabis?

    I think it’s entirely possible to be .09 BAC and not be impaired at all. What is that for an average sized guy, say 180 – 200 lbs, like maybe 4 beers? Most people would not be impaired with 4 beers.

    They should either throw out breathalyzer tests and have to actually prove that you are impaired, or put the device on all cars, so that everyone can see what bullshit .08 is for most people.

    1. That being said, I won’t drive if I’ve had even one beer. It’s not worth it. Some cop pulls you over with a breathalyzer that hasn’t been calibrated for a while and you’re fucked if it reads the wrong way.

      1. You don’t have to blow .08 to be DUI. .08 means you’re definitely fucked. Below that, and it’s not per se fucked, but they can still get you for it.

        1. That’s not true everywhere, I think it’s depending on state.

          I know this for a fact because I once got pulled over and blew .01 below the limit and they let me go, no questions asked.

          1. I think that depends on the cop. Another cop may have charged you with DUI right there. In the case where I was hit by a car on my bicycle, I blew a oh-eight. The threshold for DUI was oh-ten, and oh-five for DWAI. By charging me with driving under the influence with a oh-eight, I was left with a choice between taking it to court and getting convicted of a lesser charge (DWAI), or taking a plea bargain. I took the plea.

            1. Again, I think it’s depending on state law. I’m almost sure about that.

            2. ” The threshold for DUI was oh-ten”

              Shit, if they are going to have a threshold of oh-ten, they might as well have a threshold of oh-one.

    2. Breathalyzers are the only meter in human history that does not have a documented error.

      Pressure, temperature, and flow meters used to operate everything from nuclear reactors to a Geo Metro have a documented error.

      1. It’s only an error when it’s too low.

        1. Funny. I was a passenger in a car being driven by someone I didn’t really know, and he got pulled over for being stupid. When they got us in the police annex and made us blow into the machine, I blew once. I was cited for underage drinking and let go. Meanwhile the officer conducting the test on the driver kept saying “Do it again, blow harder. I’m getting an incorrect reading” until finally saying “Good job, you’re under arrest.”

  9. The Statists absolutely love the DUI industrial complex. There is so much ridiculous money involved. And even better, it’s a control tool that can be applied to any class of proles.

  10. The Statists absolutely love the DUI industrial complex. There is so much ridiculous money involved. And even better, it’s a control tool that can be applied to any class of proles.

  11. Fucking drunk squirrels

  12. Alt text: “This is my Dodge patrol car. It didn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. Because we took it. Asset forfeiture rules!”

    1. It’s a DODGE CHARGER you know. I really look like a badass rolling up and down the street spending the tax payer money in this car, yo?

      /the cops

    2. It’s a kinda funny pic to me cuz all the cops I see anymore seem to favor Gestapo Black to the traditional blue.

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