Colorado had just approved legal marijuana when a driver who was allegedly stoned while behind the wheel crashed into two police cars. Both cars were parked at an exit ramp. Both of them had their lights flashing. The driver slammed into them anyway and was subsequently arrested.
The police and the media ran with the story, telling people that this was one of the perils of driving while under the influence of marijuana. The police talked about how some officers were not as lucky as the ones in this incident, implying that they could have been seriously injured or killed. Many people who talked about the incident used it as a way to attack the new laws about marijuana.
However, new reports have come out that show that the man who crashed was also really drunk when he drove into the pair of police cars. His blood alcohol level has been said to be charted at .268. With the legal limit standing at just .08, that means he was looking at a blood alcohol content three times higher than what the law allows.
In fact, the incident report that was on file did not even talk about his marijuana use — just his alcohol use.
This is a very important story because the young man had become something of a poster boy for anyone who supported the move to make marijuana legal. If he had been only stoned, as early reports seemed to indicate, he would provide lawmakers with a much better reason to change those laws than he will now that it is clear that drunk driving had a lot to do with the accident.
Source: The Washington Post, “Colorado’s poster boy for ‘stoned driving’ was drunk off his gourd” Radley Balko, Jun. 06, 2014