New CDOT campaign seeks to end marijuana-impaired driving

New CDOT campaign seeks to end...

PUEBLO, Colo. - We've all been there: You're driving down the road and the smell of marijuana fills your car.

It's a sign that some of the users just don't get it and are mixing driving with the drug. 

"90 percent of users know that they can get a DUI for driving high, however, 50 percent of those users say that they've driven high within the last 30 days," said Michelle Peulen, the communications coordinator for the Colorado Department of Transportation in Pueblo.

CDOT leaders said they realize they've got to put a rush on educating people about the dangers of driving high. 

"We have this unique situation to get ahead of it while it is new, while it is a fresh industry. So we want to get ahead of it so it doesn't end up being the same problem that driving under the influence of alcohol is," Peulen said.

The department hopes to get the word out through The Cannabis Conversation, a new initiative to help educate drivers about the dangers of driving high.

The first step in the initiative is an anonymous online survey, gathering information. Then, there will be an educational campaign to hopefully prevent marijuana users from driving under the influence of the drug.

But law enforcement officers don't have a roadside device like a Breathalyzer to gauge impairment. 

"They still have to go through the same tests, but a lot of times they'll refuse a test. Well, then, we really have nothing to equate -- 'Well yeah, that's marijuana,'" said Sgt. Howard Jackson with the Pueblo Police Department.

Jackson said he believes once police have the technology, they will see a rise in DUIs related to marijuana use.

But until there is a way to measure if someone is driving high, education is the only way of making your drive safer.

If you want to take the survey, visit the Colorado Cannabis Conversation website here.

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