• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 56s

High drivers predicted to increase, Alaska’s police chiefs say

By Kate McPherson 10:59 PM August 15, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Drugged driving will become an increasing problem on our roads if marijuana is legalized, according to the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police. The organization, which represents chiefs and law enforcement commanders at the local, state and federal level, has renewed its concern about driving high on marijuana after hearing what it says are “unsupported opinions” from the proponents of Ballot Measure 2.

AACOP says marijuana legalization proponents have told the public there “is no problem” on our roads when it comes to driving while under the influence of pot.

“We feel there definitely is a problem,” said said Kalie Klaysmat, AACOP executive director.

But Taylor Bickford, spokesperson for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, denies a comment was made in that context. Bickford adds that driving under the influence of marijuana should be taken seriously but is not a widespread problem, given the state’s high rate of use and that it is currently being managed by law enforcement.

AACOP says drugged driving is only going to get worse if marijuana is legalized.

“A report from the President’s Office on National Drug Control Policy showed in 2006, Colorado drivers that were testing positive for marijuana were involved in 28 percent of fatal vehicle crashes involving drugs,” Klaysmat said. “By 2011, when medical marijuana was liberalized in the state, that number increased to 57 percent, so it doubled.

“The more prevalent marijuana is, the easier it is to get, the bigger the problem becomes.”

The other major concern is the difficulty in proving a driver is high because there is no breathalyzer, so blood would have to be taken.

“So that means everybody that you suspect of being impaired with marijuana is going to have to have a blood test go to a clinic, if it’s after hours it’s going to be costly in having someone able to draw blood,” Klaysmat said.

AACOP says complete data showing the effect of marijuana legalization on traffic crashes in Colorado and Washington likely won’t be available until after Alaskan’s have voted. Right now in Alaska, it’s difficult to say how many road fatalities are related to marijuana because blood tests aren’t always reported.

If approved by voters in November, marijuana use would become legal for people 21 and older. The manufacture, sale and possession would also become legal.

Latest Stories

  • Wash. man charged with murdering, stealing from Ketchikan doctor

    by Chris Klint on Jul 21, 14:10

    A Washington man is accused of murdering a Ketchikan doctor at his home earlier this year, after local police say he transferred large sums of cash from the victim’s bank accounts and tried to send three shipping containers of goods from the home Outside. Jordan Joplin, 32, was indicted Friday by a Ketchikan grand jury […]

  • Fashion Friday: summer trends

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 12:42

    For fashion, keep it simple this summer. Experts at the 5th Avenue Mall say the trend this year for men is lighter, natural colors with subtle prints. For women, it’s easy elegance; think floral prints, ruffles and slip-on shoes. Watch the video above for some outfit ideas and summer looks.

  • Man gets 25-year sentence in 2014 Anchorage sexual assault

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 21, 12:08

    An Anchorage man was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison with five years suspended, for a violent sexual assault against a woman more than two years ago. Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby handed down 31-year-old Asad Nur’s sentence on Thursday, according to a statement from Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion’s office. An Anchorage jury […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-A-Pet: July 21, 2017

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 12:00

    From Anchorage Animal Care and Control: Your next adventure buddy awaits: This week is going to the dogs. If you’re looking for an energetic dog to be your new companion then one of these could be your match. Head down to the shelter to meet Snoopy, Oxford, Nala or Bruce who are all looking for […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: The Super Saturated Sugar Strings

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 21, 10:51

    The Super Saturated Sugar Strings are releasing their new album, “All Their Many Miles,” and are inviting Alaska to help them celebrate. The party starts at 7 p.m. July 27 at the 49th State Brewing Company on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Anchorage. Before that, the group will play at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s GooseFest […]

  • This weekend in Southcentral Alaska

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 21, 10:45

    Cardboard City When: 5 p.m. July 21 to 8 a.m. July 22 Location: Alaska State Fairgrounds, green entrance Price: $50 per person Spend the night in a cardboard box and raise money to end homelessness Mat-Su Fiber Festival When: July 22 and 23 Location: Alaska State Fairgrounds All-ages Dog Jog When: July 22, 9 a.m. […]

  • Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

    by CBS News on Jul 21, 9:07

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer has resigned, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett has confirmed. Spicer resigned Friday morning, shortly after President Trump selected Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Scaramucci’s hiring was a factor in his resignation, as was Spicer’s diminishing role in the White House, Garrett reports. A source with direct […]

  • Suspect’s struggle over gun with Anchorage police leads to attempted-murder charges

    by Chris Klint on Jul 21, 8:51

    A man who Anchorage police say fired a gun during an altercation with two officers earlier this week has been arrested on a series of charges, including attempted murder. Court records show Pagopago Beefcake Lelilio, 29, also facing seven other counts of assault, weapons misconduct and reckless endangerment in the Wednesday encounter. A criminal complaint […]