‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ campaign launches in Colorado to stop stoned driving

DENVER - Colorado is launching a new “Drive High, Get A DUI” campaign to remind drivers that newly legal weed should be treated like alcohol and not consumed before driving. The campaign includes radio and TV ads and new posters to be displayed in dispensaries. The other part of the effort is enforcement. Right now, 200 officers of various agencies are trained recognition experts. Another 20 graduated with that certification Thursday. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper calls this a top priority, and wants at least 300 officers to be trained with this certification by next year. During 56 hours of training, officers are taught a 12-step process for recognizing the symptoms of drivers who may be impaired by a variety of drugs or alcohol. With marijuana, the officers are taught to look for enlarged pupils, sniff for the drug’s odor and look for small tremors in the driver’s body. “We teach them to look at certain things, and it is kind of an elimination process,” said Sgt. Rodney Noga from the Colorado State Patrol. Officers also check blood pressure, muscle softness and look for injection sites for other kinds of drug use. If drivers fail the observation test, a blood test is the next option to confirm or deny the presence of drug or alcohol impairment. The effort from the Colorado Department of Transportation comes as Colorado struggles to keep accurate statewide records on marijuana-impaired drivers. State police chiefs told lawmakers this week that they need more money to train officers in recognizing stoned drivers. The chiefs wrote a letter saying, in part, that they “have diverted staff from other...

Officers will ‘aggressively’ seek drunken drivers Friday.

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Officers step up DUI efforts before St. Patrick’s Day

By Debora  Villalon KTVU.com SAN FRANCISCO — Saint Patrick’s Day is Monday March 17, but police agencies on the Peninsula are getting a jump-start on the party with early DUI enforcement. “People need to be aware these collisions kill people, ” Sgt. Jay Kiely of the Burlingame Police Dept. told KTVU. Kiely coordinated saturation patrols Monday night, putting officers from Burlingame, San Mateo, and Hillsborough on the streets in area of high citations and collisions. They hoped their visibility and enforcement would plant the idea, as people plan for St. Patricks Day, also plan a sober way home. “It’s not worth it,” Kiely added, “even after a couple of drinks, if you’re not sure, call somebody, take a cab, Uber, whatever.” San Mateo County racked up a startling 12 DUI related deaths last year, counting only the crashes on surface streets, not the freeways. That compares to only one the year before. And behind the statistics, are broken families. “Life is what you make of it Katie, and you have everything you need to make it a great one, ” Kate Swanson read aloud to KTVU. In her hand, on a yellow pad, a letter her mother wrote to her as she graduated from high school 20 years ago. “I’m always here for you, Katie, no matter what, ” Swanson read, her voice wavering with emotion at some passages. It’s a letter she shares with students and community groups as a volunteer for MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Swanson’s mother, 63-year-old Mona Norman was killed by a drunk driver near Turlock, hit head-on by a pick-up truck going the...