Police officers trained to spot stoned drivers

9:50 AM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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In this Oct. 22, 2009 file photo, a bud of legally grown marijuana is held by a cancer patient, in Portland, Maine. Advocates of recreational marijuana use are looking to an upcoming vote in Maine as an indicator of whether the East Coast is ready to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington by legalizing cannabis. Voters in Portland are being asked whether they want to make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. (AP/Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

KUSA- The Colorado Department of Transportation is allocating new funds to help police identify stoned drivers. 


The funds are a portion of a $2 million grant from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. CDOT will dedicate $400,000 to stopping people from driving high.

The effort will include an aggressive media campaign. Billboards, flyers and ads will warn drivers of the dangers and consequences of driving high. 

The campaign will also include increased efforts to train police officers into Drug Recognition Experts.

"Drug Recognition Experts are highly trained law enforcement officers," said CDOT Highway Safety Manager Glenn Davis. "It's a 56-hour course. And we get law enforcement officers from around the state... They're trained to detect impaired drivers by substances other than alcohol. How to process people like that and testify that in court."

Right now, there are 184 Drug Recognition Experts in the state. The goal is to have 300 in Colorado within the next two years.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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