July 2, 2012
Although drunk driving is responsible for a large number of Denver car accidents each year, local law enforcement is seeing a significant rise in the problem of drugged driving. Drivers under the influence of drugs caused 115 fatalities in 2010 alone. Troopers with the Colorado State Patrol add that the drug involved was marijuana more than half of the time
An article from The Denver Post states that 2009 statistics show a total of 8,625 blood samples of suspected intoxicated drivers were taken. Of these samples, 791 tested positive for THC, the active substance in marijuana. The numbers skyrocketed in 2011, with 2,030 samples testing positive from a total of 10,393 samples taken.
These statistics have led state legislators to attempt to pass a bill three different times that would make it illegal for drivers to have more than five nanograms of THC in their bloodstream while driving.
The measure has been shot down every time because many voters felt the five-nanogram limit was too low. Other residents argue that the cost of the mandatory testing required by the bill would increase prosecuting costs to the state by more than $600,000 per year.
The Denver Personal Injury Law Firm of McDivitt Law says that regardless of where the bill and regulations stand, it is careless and negligent behavior to drive after taking any kind of drug if it impairs reaction time and the ability to think clearly behind the wheel.