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Colorado has indeed entered into a new era of state drivers navigating under the influence. Certainly we know about the attempt in all 50 states to get drunken drivers off our roadways, but I’m talking about those who are hazardous drivers due to driving under the influence of drugs, now officially known as DUIDs.
We have now had enough time to see how prevalent the DUID is on Colorado highways, and it is up to the individual residents of the state to decide if they feel the incidence is low, about what was expected or above expectations for the first full year.
I can say I am not surprised at the overall figures of the state’s DUI figures versus the DUIDs, and am only a tiny bit surprised that there aren’t more DUIDs in the state, although I know when I was in high school the most common effect on those who would drive and smoke pot was that they were extra careful and were most likely guilty of driving too slowly.
In 2014, Col. Scott Hernandez, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, ordered the specific tracking of marijuana-related citations. A summary of the 2014 DUI/DUID data is as follows;
There were 5,546 total citations issued for DUI/DUID driving actions.
There were 354 citations issued for DUID driving actions in which marijuana was the only indicator.
There were 674 citations issued for DUI/DUID driving actions in which marijuana was one of the indicators.
The 12 month average for citations related to marijuana was 12.2 percent of the total DUI/DUID citations.
January, April, and December were the three highest months—literally—for citations marijuana usage as a percentage of the overall DUI/DUID citations issued.
Seventy-five percent of the 2014 DUI/DUID citations issued were the result of proactive motorist contacts.
Hernandez said, “The efforts made in 2014 highlight the Colorado State Patrol’s commitment to the citizens of Colorado to make safe travel along all roads a priority. I am proud of these efforts and will continue to work with our troopers to ensure the safety of all citizens and visitors of our wonderful state.”
The CSP has more than 540 Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) trained troopers and 61 drug recognition experts.
“Clearly, this arrest data underscores the need for CDOT’s Drive High, Get a DUI campaign in 2015,” says Amy Ford, CDOT’s spokeswoman.
The CDOT study last year found that 43 percent of marijuana consumers in Colorado said it was OK to drive high.
“After our education campaign, a new CDOT study showed that 21 percent of recreational marijuana consumers still didn’t know you can get a DUI and 57 percent of those who used marijuana drove within two hours after consuming it,” Ford said. “We won’t be satisfied until everyone in Colorado takes driving high seriously so the need for awareness and education is paramount.”
I have been surprised by the couple of people I know here who admittedly have chosen to drive while high and their thinking has been, “I drive more safely and the cops won’t catch me.”
Be aware folks, that the CSP is trying and finding some success out on the state roads.
And if you think a DUID conviction won’t hurt you as much as a DUI conviction, then I’d recommend looking into that misinformation. The figure bandied about nationally is that a DUI (or DUID) conviction, when all things like increased insurance rates, possible jail time, fines, court fees, lawyers, etc., are considered, will cost the average person about $10,000.
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Well, it is now complete. I scored 100 percent in picking every single National Football League playoff game.
From the first round of the wild card playoff games through the Super Bowl on Sunday I picked the outcome of each and every football game—wrong.
I didn’t get any luck at all. I didn’t pick any of the games correctly. Not one!
It was a 100 percent failure rate on my part, no thanks to Pete Carroll’s selection for the goal line play by the Seahawks that ended their hopes with an interception by the Patriots.
I don’t feel better that I share the same opinion of that called play with nearly every sportscaster on TV.
I have never seen such a (add your own mild or strong expletive here) stupid play call that I can remember. The Seahawks had been running well all day behind the big Marshawn Lynch.
They had the time for running on the third and fourth downs from about the two yard line, which should have been easy to accomplish since the Patriots hadn’t really stopped Lynch all game. But no! The Seahawks, who I wouldn’t really have liked against any team other than New England, threw an interception among heavy traffic at the goal line and the Patriots intercept the ball. Game over!
Anyway, as we Bronco fans are unfortunately getting used to saying, “Well, there’s always next year.”
And speaking of the Broncos, it is going to be an interesting eight months before next season starts. There has been a large number of former Broncos returning to the fold in pursuit of that elusive Super Bowl title.
There is Kubiak, the backup to Elway and subsequent Broncos quarterback coach as well as eight-year head coach of the Houston Texans. He is a good man, has a “good” track record and has a pretty good win/loss record.
Then there is the return of former Broncos head coach Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator for Denver. I just think it is going to be an interesting year. Neither one of these coaches has ever really rattled our world with their past accomplishments.
I hope I am wrong again. Elway has picked some pretty good personnel over his couple of years as vice president and general manager, but I am not certain that these two veteran coaches are the answer to Denver’s problems.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
After all, there is always next year—and probably a year after that as well.
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Probably the biggest thing going on now around here and in almost every town and city across the country is the high number of high school seniors who are now applying to college.
High school seniors across the country are filling out college applications, scholarship forms, FAFSA forms for student aid, bank loan forms, etc., in preparation for that next step in life after high school.
I have written several times in the past about the importance of getting some kind of degree, from a certificate in some useful occupation to a regular college degree, post-graduate degree and even an advanced degree.
The numbers are staggering when you look at the average income of a student who just graduates from high school. Incrementally large steps are earned on a national scale when you add each level of academia from high school graduate to those who earn an occupational certificate to those who earn an associate (two-year) degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a doctorate.
Don’t get me at all wrong. Some of the best-paid occupations now and in the future can be obtained with a two-year associate’s degree—nursing, dental hygiene, dental assistant, and others—but those are few and far between. Some computer degrees learned at a community college can also set a student up for an interesting and lucrative lifetime occupation.
But the key is truly to figure out what it is that you want to do with your life.
After a field of study is decided upon, the next step is to decide where a good college is located to help you reach your goal, whatever that is. This can now be done on the computer quite easily without having to order a large number of college catalogs.
Payment is also a concern. There are grants, scholarships and low-cost loans available to where I would have to agree with the statement that was in common use when I was public information officer for Mohave Community College in Arizona: Cost should not be a deterrent from earning a degree.
One only has to look at the lifetime income figures between each step of education—non-high school graduate, high school graduate or GED recipient, associate degree or certificate, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate—to see the importance of each level of education.
There is roughly a $300,000 to $400,000 lifetime income difference between levels, and that, folks, is a big difference.
Take your time. Look into all facets of an education, then make the plunge in the direction you want to go. It will pay off—for you, your future family and your quality of life.