Colorado State Patrol to crack down on high drivers

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

MESA COUNTY, Colo. As recreational marijuana sales pick up around the state, Colorado State Patrol troopers are picking up their own DUI enforcement.

17 of the 20 troopers in the Grand Valley have been specially trained to detect signs of marijuana use in impaired drivers.

"Bloodshot and pinkish eyes, typically they'll have a short term memory problem," Trooper Dan Chermok said.

Those suspected of driving high are taken into custody and given a blood test.

"We actually observe as the blood is drawn, so we can verify that that was the sample that came out of their arm that we took custody of," Chermok said.

If they refuse to take the blood test, they could lose their license for a year or testify against an officer in court.

"The reason why we stopped them in the first place then we also have to testify the signs of impairment that we observed," said Chermok, who has had several successful convictions of DUIs in court.

Colorado State Patrol has teamed up with the Colorado Department of Transportation to educate people about the dangers of smoking and driving to prevent driving under the influence from occurring in the first place.

Trooper Chermok said even just a small amount of marijuana can make someone a dangerous driver.

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