Sgt. David Blatner, right, the training Sergeant for a several week long Drug Recognition Expert class, sits near a completed roadside Drug Influence Evaluation sheet on a clipboard, at the Colorado State Patrol Training Academy, in Golden, Colo., Thursday March 6, 2014. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press)

Fewer people charged in Colorado with marijuana-related DUIs in 2015

The Colorado State Patrol arrested fewer people on allegations they were driving under the influence of marijuana last year, according to a report released Thursday.

The report is the first glimpse at how the change in law is affecting highway safety, because the state patrol did not keep statistics on the number of people charged with driving under the influence of marijuana prior to 2014, when sales of recreational pot became legal.

In 2015, the second year the patrol kept statistics, 4,546 citations were issued for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Of those, 665 people — or nearly 15 percent — had marijuana in their system when they were charged, according to state patrol statistics.

Overall, the number of people cited for driving under the influence of drugs dropped 1.3 percent between 2014 and 2015, the report said.

The State Patrol began tracking marijuana-specific citations at the beginning of January 2014 to document “a new era of impaired driving” following the legalization of recreational marijuana.

“The efforts made in 2015 highlight the Colorado State Patrol’s continued commitment to the citizens of Colorado to ensure safe travel throughout our state,” said Colonel Scott Hernandez, chief of Colorado State Patrol.

Noelle Phillips: 303-954-1661 or or @Noelle_Phillips

Staff writer Elizabeth Hernandez contributed to this report.

This story was first published on