Despite naysayer predictions that Colorado’s newfound recreational marijuana laws would lead to a surge in stoned driving, it appears as though it's the boozehounds who are creating drunken havoc on the state’s roadways.
Over the weekend, several Colorado law enforcement agencies joined forces to set up a sobriety checkpoint in Larimer County, which, by the end of the night, showed authorities that driving under the influence of alcohol remains more problematic to public safety than the threat of high drivers.
As part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “Drive High, Get a DUI” crackdown campaign, the Fort Collins Police Department in association with the Larimer County DUI Task Force set up a three-and-a-half-hour hour sobriety checkpoint early Saturday morning that resulted in officers shaking down a total of 1,572 vehicles.
Interestingly, while you know police did their best to find any reason to take everyone they encountered to jail, the checkpoint only managed to yield a measly 22 arrests -- 21 for alcohol-related offenses and another for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia by a minor. That is it -- not a single arrest was made for stoned driving.
Now, while it is important to remember that the results of this checkpoint may not be an accurate portrayal of the exact ratio between drunk and stoned driving in Colorado, we feel the outcome provides fascinating insight into just how disconnected the local government is when it comes to determining actions to protect the safety of the community.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced a budget allocating roughly $500,000 for their “Drive High, Get a DUI” ad campaign, while only allotting $325,000 for ads to deter drinking and driving. Perhaps it's time to adjust that line item.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.