DUID Victim Voices has completed its pilot study of 2012 vehicular homicides and vehicular assaults in Colorado. Defendants in most of those cases (83%) were also charged with DUI. This provides an excellent data source to measure the proportion of DUIDs in Colorado’s DUI citations. The results of the study were presented today to the Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving. See the entire presentation here. CTFDID PPT
Key findings of the study included the fact that 39% of the DUIs studied involved drugs, usually drugs combined with alcohol. 85% of the DUIDs were due to use of either multiple drugs, or drugs plus alcohol. There were very few cases of impairment by a single drug, and only two cases of impairment by marijuana alone. The average time from dispatch of an officer to the scene and collection of the first blood sample of a suspected DUID driver was 2.32 hours, by which time most of marijuana’s THC would have disappeared from the driver’s blood. The inactive metabolite of marijuana may still remain, but that is considered to be of limited interest. There is some evidence that DUID convictions, and especially DUI-marijuana convictions are much more difficult to achieve than DUI alcohol convictions, but the sample size is too small to make a strong case for this statement.
The study is being repeated using 2013 data, and a 100% sample size, rather than the limited sample size used in the 2012 pilot study.
The study supports several legislative initiatives that are proposed at the conclusion of the presentation. We hope to present these initiatives to legislators over the coming months.