New Law Tracking Drugged Driving Takes Effect Next Week

DENVER (CBS4) – A new law takes effect next week aimed at clarifying how many drivers are arrested for drugged-impaired driving.

Currently every drugged driving arrest is lumped into the same category.

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(credit: CBS)

“We need to do a better job of understanding what it is in Colorado that’s creating these traffic fatalities,” said State Representative Jonathan Singer. “Is it DUI because of alcohol? Is it DUI because of marijuana, meth, prescription pain killers?”

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Rep. Jonathan Singer (D) Longmont (credit: CBS)

Singer worked with Ed Wood, whose son was killed when two women sharing the wheel while on marijuana and methamphetamine.

During the trial, though, the women were charged with death from careless driving – not drug-impaired driving.

“The laws that we currently have in place make it very difficult for victims to seek justice,” said Wood. “That has to be fixed.”

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Ed Wood (credit: CBS)

Wood says that too often drivers under the influence of drugs other than alcohol aren’t prosecuted for DUI, and most law enforcement agencies lump all DUIs together, which makes it impossible to know which drugs are the biggest problems.

“If you don’t know what the real problem is, you’re going to come up with the wrong solution,” said Wood.

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Peyton Knowlton (credit: CBS)

For Singer, the issue became personal last year when a good friend lost his step daughter, Peyton Knowlton, when she was hit by a driver who tested positive for marijuana and alcohol, but was under the legal limit and so was not charged with DUI.

“To sit there and to listen to friends of Peyton’s, and to talk about how they’re going to miss their best friend, it doesn’t have to be that way.”

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