The last few years have seen an undeniable normalization of marijuana for both medical and recreation enjoyment. In some states, this normalization has coincided with legalization, and its advocates would have you believe that there have been no downsides. Research reveals, however, that there is a direct correlation between fatal car accidents and marijuana use after legalization. There are a few things you should know when it comes to the dangers of driving while high.
Myths enable impaired driving
Devoted marijuana advocates may claim that the substance grants them concentration that improves their driving skills. This is an often cited myth, in fact, that serves to enable driving while under the influence. In reality, marijuana contains THC, which can alter your perception and ultimately impair your driving abilities. It is important not to fall prey to falsehoods like this when it comes to driving safely.
Laws have not caught up yet
Drunk driving is easy to identify because tests can reveal the blood alcohol level of a driver. Marijuana, on the other hand, represents something of a gray area. Though THC can be just as risky as drunkenness, it is not always as easy to measure intoxication by marijuana. Because of this, legislators have struggled to establish laws that relate to the emergent problem of reckless high drivers.
It may be as dangerous as driving drunk
Research varies in the comparison of driving while drunk and driving while high. Some reports have found the latter to be more dangerous while others suggest the former is a greater threat. The results are inconclusive, but it is clear that driving while high may be just as risky as driving while drunk. It is important that you take the risk of your own intoxication seriously and stay off the road if you are consuming marijuana.
You can be liable for a DUI
An unfortunate misconception is that drivers cannot be charged with DUI in states that have legalized marijuana. Though laws may not outline the specific limits for THC intoxication, if you are high and driving recklessly, you are certainly at risk of getting a DUI. You can be arrested and charged even if your THC levels are low, so it is best to stay sober if you are planning to hit the road.
If you have been involved in a car accident where marijuana was a factor, you should be aware of your legal rights. Contact an attorney for more information on possible recourse.