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New study shows joint alcohol/cannabis users are riskier drivers

COLORADO (KRDO) -- The American Automobile Association, or AAA, has been conducting studies on driving under the influence of alcohol for years. As more states fight to legalize cannabis, they're working to see how its recreational use in Colorado has impacted drivers.

For those who use cannabis and drink, it's been detrimental.

"If you choose to use cannabis and use alcohol, generally you tend to be the type of person who takes more risk while driving, like running red lights, speeding, and driving distracted," said Skylar McKinley, Regional Director of Public Affairs for AAA Colorado.

The drivers observed in the study consumed alcohol and cannabis in the past 30 days, but not necessarily at the same time. Still, the numbers show they still are more of a risk on our roadways than drivers who only consume alcohol.

Ahead of the 4/20 holiday, the Colorado Department of Transportation is teaming up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to share powerful stories of people impacted by impaired drivers.

In 2019, there were 49 traffic fatalities in Colorado involving someone with THC above the legal limit. The following year, the Colorado Springs Police Department arrested 1652 people for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"We think these stories are powerful," said Sam Cole, Regional Communications Manager with the Colorado Department of Transportation. "When cannabis users hear them, we think it may change some perceptions and beliefs, and get them to understand the dangers of impaired driving better."

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Mia Villanueva

Mia is a weekday reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Mia here.


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