JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– It can be a very dangerous combination using alcohol and pot then getting behind the wheel. Statistics from Colorado State Patrol show a 112% increase in just one year, from 2017 to last year, for citations issued for drivers who used both.
Evan King is finishing up a one-year jail sentence. He was found to be way over the alcohol limit when he was stopped. He also had a small amount of marijuana in his system.
“Yes, I drove while I was impaired by both of them, but I felt the legal alcohol was playing a bigger role on the threat I was posing on the community,” he told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger during an interview inside the Jefferson County Jail.
In 2013, CBS4 conducted a test in which volunteers got high on pot then drove on a course. All insisted they could drive fine with marijuana in their system. Some did okay while others were visibly impaired according to a driving expert.
A few years after that CBS4, told the story of a father whose son was killed by a teen driver high on pot.
“The worst thing that could happen to the State of Colorado was passing the marijuana law,” said Lonnie Britton.
More pain emerged as a woman and her 3-year-old son were killed in a 2017 crash in which the driver had marijuana in his system and failed to stop along Alameda at Oak in Lakewood. Now statistics show even more drivers are using marijuana and alcohol together.
“One person might be able to drink a couple beers, a shot and smoke cannabis and be alright,” said King.
But he acknowledges others may not, “I might not do them at the same time but smoke before I leave, not while I am driving.”
He pleaded guilty to driving under intoxication after he was stopped for a missing tail light. His incident did not involve an accident. He is being released from his one-year sentence early due to good behavior after serving just over 190 days.