LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With marijuana becoming legal on Monday, across California freeways the message is clear: “Drive High, Get A DUI.”
It’s the CHP’s latest campaign to also keep stoned as well as drunk drivers off the road.
The bells tolled in Sacramento this week to remember fallen CHP officer Andrew J. Camilleri. He was killed in the line of duty on Christmas Eve when his patrol car was hit by a suspected impaired driver.
DUI doesn’t just apply to booze and comes just days before cannabis will be legal in California.
“As has been the case in other states like Colorado and Washington, we fully expect to see an increase in crashes due to marijuana usage,” CHP Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, Rhonda craft said.
“If you smoke it, if you ingest it in the comfort of your own home, that’s your own prerogative, but do not operate a motor vehicle,” CHP Officer Chris Baldonado said.
Unlike alcohol there is no accepted marijuana breathalyzer. Blood tests can be inconclusive depending on when the test is taken. At UC San Diego co-director of the university’s center for medicinal cannabis research, Tom Marcotte is hoping to change that. He’s created a simulator that could help lead law enforcement to a roadside test to determine if someone is too stoned to drive.
“The ultimate outcome is to see whether or not we can really help law enforcement separate those people who are impaired due to cannabis and those people who may have cannabis in their system and are not impaired,” Tom Marcotte said.
Outside Rolling Stoned, a medical marijuana dispensary in Burbank, customers have mixed feelings about driving high.
“You can get a DUI, it’s against the law,” Colby Daniels said.
“It all depends on your tolerance, just like it is with alcohol, you can have two beers and drive, you should be able to have a joint and drive,” Michael Lee said.
The CHP wants the public to know in no uncertain terms, driving after consuming marijuana is illegal.