Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado will join the Colorado State Patrol, Uber, and Bachus & Schanker in reaching out to the public from April 17th through April 20th to remind everyone to do their part to keep our roads and communities safe—including staying at home to reduce the risk of cannabis-impaired crashes and to avoid the spread of COVID-19 as part of the #DoingMyPartCO campaign.
April 20th is seen as an unofficial cannabis holiday. Driving while high on cannabis is impaired driving and can result in a DUI. MADD and its traffic safety partners have teamed up to remind everyone of this simple message: If you’re celebrating 420 this weekend, please be safe and stay at home. The goal is to have zero DUI arrests, zero DUI crashes, and zero COVID-19 community spread. If we all do our part, together, we can keep our Colorado roads and communities safe.
The Colorado State Patrol is specially trained to detect cannabis impairment, and troopers will be out in full force this weekend to raise awareness, educate drivers, and enforce the laws. While a statewide stay-at-home order is in effect in Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies continue to make DUI arrests.
Colonel Matt Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, has a simple message ahead of 420: “There is no excuse for there to be a single crash caused by someone driving under the influence. Do your part by staying home and consuming responsibly.” You can view his full video message here.
“MADD is honored to partner with the Colorado State Patrol, and I’m thankful for all the brave men and women who work to keep our roads safe every day,” said MADD Colorado Executive Director Fran Lanzer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-THC, affects areas of the brain that control your body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory and judgment — skills needed to drive safely.
“Marijuana does not make you a better driver. In fact, it can slow reaction time, interfere with your ability to make decisions, distort perception and make it harder to solve problems,” Helen Witty, MADD National President said.
Ed and Denise Hill of Colorado know the impact of drugged driving all too well. Their daughter, Amanda, was hit head-on by a driver high on marijuana. Amanda lost her life due to the injuries she sustained. She was 24 years old.
Ahead of 420, the Hills participated in a national discussion with MADD about 420 and marijuana-impaired driving, which can be viewed here.
This is the fourth year that Uber has partnered with MADD Colorado and the Colorado State Patrol to raise awareness ahead of 420. “While we’re asking everyone to stay home if they can right now, it’s still as important as ever that people are empowered to make smart and safe choices,” Grant Klinzman, Safety Communications Manager at Uber said. “With Uber’s technology, you can avoid impaired driving with the push of a button.” Uber is also a national corporate partner of MADD and the official app of the designated driver.
The Law Firm of Bachus & Schanker joins MADD Colorado in asking everyone do their part to save lives on our roads and in our communities. This weekend and throughout the year, MADD Colorado is proud to partner with the firm as the official Statewide Sponsor to save lives and serve victims in Colorado.
Native Roots will also be joining in the campaign to promote safety messaging to their customers during the 420 weekend.
According to Canadian researchers who studied 25 years of data on fatal crashes in the U.S., the risk of being in a fatal crash is 12 percent higher from 4:20 p.m. to midnight on April 20 compared to the same time one week earlier. For drivers younger than 21, the risk is 38 percent higher. The findings were published two years ago in a research letter in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The takeaway of this year’s 420 campaign is perfectly summed up by the Hills: “We urge everyone to make wise choices and plan ahead. The life you save may be your own–or a loved ones.”