It feels great to share a bit of good news. Our DUID Data Bill was introduced into the Colorado House of Representatives by Representatives Jonathan Singer (D) and Polly Lawrence (R) April 3, 2017. HB17-1315, “Concerning the acquisition of data to analyze DUI offenses being committed by offenders” is an important first step to eventually changing Colorado’s DUID laws which today are the weakest in the nation.
Today, Colorado does not collect, analyze, and publish DUID data. This may help explain Colorado’s weak DUID laws and also explain why DUID is so badly misunderstood. Most in the state still believe DUID is all about marijuana (is isn’t), that DUID conviction rates are the same as DUI alcohol conviction rates (they’re lower) and that our 5 ng/ml THC permissible inference law protects innocent victims from marijuana-impaired drivers (it does the opposite). Reports that will emerge from this bill’s passage will provide robust data to educate the legislature and the public about some realities of DUID.
The bill is designed to be self-funding, so we should not have an adverse fiscal note. It brings together data that already exists in various “silos” in the state, so that the Division of Criminal Justice can analyze the data and issue annual reports to the legislature.
The bill does not incorporate law enforcement evidence into the database, so it falls short of recommendations of the Governors Highway Safety Association, but it’s a very good start.