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Legalized recreational marijuana use leads to more crashes

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2018 | DWI |

The author of a report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Oct. 16 notes that there’s been a recent uptick in the amount of motorists choosing to drive under the influence of drugs recently in the United States. They also argued that something needs to be done about it. A report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on Oct. 18 reflect those same sentiments.

Researchers working on a study published in the American Journal of Public Heath in 2017 didn’t find any conclusive evidence to suggest that the fatality rates in states that had legalized recreational marijuana was any higher than other. Researchers who presented at an Oct. 18 conference found that the opposite is the case. Crash rates are apparently on an increase in these states.

Data compiled by the researchers working on the first study found that crashes have increased by up to 6 percent in Oregon, Washington and Colorado since recreational use has become legal. Their neighboring states haven’t seen the same increase during that time frame although all other variables remained the same.

Researchers working on the second study determined that the number of crashes reported to police after recreational marijuana was legalized increased by more than 5 percent over the pre-legalization period.

There’s been ample research done to uncover the effects that marijuana use can have on motorists. Researchers have found that drivers who smoke even a small amount of the drug before taking to the road struggle with depth perception issues and think much more slowly than others.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, it’s still illegal for individuals to get behind the wheel of their car and drive after consuming the drug. Many still do though. The NHTSA and other agencies are working hard to come up with recommended practices for pulling suspected impaired motorists over and reliable ways to screen them for intoxication.

When many hear the terminology “driving under the influence” (DUI) or “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), they tend to think about someone’s alcohol consumption. A person can be arrested for one of these crimes if they take drugs, though, as well. If you’re facing such charges, then you’ll want a Mahopac DWI attorney representing you who knows the rules of evidence that apply in your case.


Law Offices of Joseph J. Tock