Big Changes to Colorado Weed and Drunk Driving Laws Starting 1/1/14


CO is tough on drunk driving laws while lax on marijuana laws (photo credit)

The New Year is bringing in some major changes to Colorado’s drunk driving and marijuana possession laws. A few weeks ago we wrote about the Denver City Council allowing people to smoke marijuna on their front porches or in their backyards despite controversy from people complaining about the invasiveness of second hand marijuana smoke and the possible influence on youth.

This week the Denver City Council favored marijuana supporters again by decriminalizing marijuana and limiting the punishment for possession among 18-21 year olds. Until this unanimous vote was cast, those under 21 faced fines, criminal charges and even up to a year in jail for possession of marijuana despite Amendment 64’s passing last year.

Beginning January 1, 2014 since anyone who is over 21 will be allowed to smoke marijuana recreationally, Denver City Council thought it was timely to limit the punishment for those just under 21. Although those 18-21 will still get fines if caught, they won’t serve jail time.

While the state is reducing punishment with respect to marijuana, they are cracking down on drunk driving across the state. Considering the amount of drunk driving arrests last year during the holidays and the 25,000 arrests across the state in 2012, with almost 30% of those arrested refusing a breathalyzer, tougher restrictions have been sought.

Anyone who refuses a breathalyzer after January 1st will be considered a “persistent drunk driver” and have their license revoked for at least two months and up to a year. If they want their license back, they will have to install a breathalyzer in their vehicles before being allowed to drive.

Here at our Colorado addiction treatment center people commonly seek addiction help for the abuse of alcohol and marijuana. It is no wonder that the state has been struggling to consistently tweak the laws in order to keep people safe from abuse of marijuana and alcohol while appeasing those who want to use substances safely and recreationally. To an addict however, there is no safe or recreational use of drugs or alcohol. That is why we teach addicts how to live free of all substances so they can lead safe and productive lives.