Yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often linked to drugged driving.” Like alcohol, marijuana can also slow your reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination, and distort perception.
In many drugged driving accidents, both marijuana and alcohol appear in drivers’ systems. Using alcohol and marijuana together increases your risk for accidents more than either substance does alone. Nevertheless, either substance can interrupt your judgment, concentration, and driving ability.
Why Are There Not as Many Statistics About Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?
Determining the role that marijuana plays in crashes is more difficult than it is with alcohol because there is no reliable way to measure marijuana toxicity. The active chemical in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), stays in body fluids for days and weeks after intoxication. Even when states create legal limits of ug/L of THC in the blood, levels of THC can decline drastically between the time of the accident and the time a blood test is administered.
Still, the National Institute on Drug Abuse affirms:
“Those involved in vehicle crashes with THC in their blood, particularly higher levels, are three to seven times more likely to be responsible for the incident than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol.”
In some case studies, the risk of being involved in an accident doubled or more than doubled after marijuana use.
Is Driving While High Illegal?
Driving under the influence is illegal in all 50 states. When a driver is obviously impaired by any type of drug, criminal consequences may apply. In Florida, recreational marijuana is also illegal, so drivers could face consequences for having THC in their system or even possessing marijuana or drug paraphernalia.
No matter where you are located, your safest option is to not have any drugs nor alcohol in your system anytime you get behind the wheel.
What If I Get Hit by a Drugged Driver?
At Paulsen Law Group, we know you would never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If someone else harms you while being so careless, however, our lawyers are here to help.
Call us at (727) 270-8260 or contact us online to tell us what happened during a free consultation.