The Colorado Department of Transportation officially launched their campaign against driving-while-high yesterday. A few select posters and radio ads will appear around the Denver-Boulder area, but the centerpiece of the “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign is these three TV PSAs. One of the videos (posted below) touts “Installing your TV while high is now legal. Driving to get a new one isn’t.” (The joke is that installing the TV while stoned won’t go very well.)

The campaign’s message: If you want to get high, go for it—just don’t grab your car keys after doing so. And, although driving under the influence is a serious issue, the state agency is keeping a pretty good sense of humor about the whole thing. In the age of legal recreational marijuana, they don’t need to instill fear in us (remember this terrifying drive-thru scenario?), but rather reach a wider—and better-listening—audience. “It’s an informational message,” says CDOT spokesperson Emily Wilfong. “And people are more likely to listen if its not negative.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) worked with all Denver-based agencies for six months (since August 2013) for the campaign, including Hispanidad, a marketing agency focused on reaching the state’s Latino population (Denver’s Hispanic population is at about a third). The main target audience for “Drive High, Get a DUI” is males ages 21 to 34, says Wilfong, so you’re likely to see the PSAs during shows that appeal to that age range. The posters, on the other hand, will largely be handed out to local dispensaries, as well as a few community organizations. “Our main goal isn’t to stop people from using marijuana,” says Wilfong. “It’s to keep people off the roads when doing so.”

In case you were wondering: Getting a DUI for marijuana consumption isn’t so different from an alcohol-related one. There’s a field sobriety test, then a voluntary blood test, and sometimes drug-recognition experts get involved—who are highly-trained, and according to Wilfong, have a 98 percent accuracy in identifying drug consumption. In short: Don’t risk it. If you’re going to use marijuana, stay at home and enjoy your high instead.


—Image courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation

Jerilyn Forsythe
Jerilyn Forsythe
Jerilyn Forsythe is a freelance writer and editor, and 5280's former digital associate editor. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @jlforsyt.