You may think you will face DUI charges only if you were drinking and driving. However, you may also face these charges if you experience impairment because of marijuana use.
Drugged driving is more common than you may realize. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12.6 million people across the country drove after taking drugs in 2018. Most drugged driving incidents involve marijuana, prescription medications and opioids. Additionally, most of the people involved in drugged driving accidents are young adults.
Marijuana’s effect on drivers
You may think you can drive after taking marijuana. However, this substance can have a negative impact on your driving ability. After using this substance, you may experience delayed reactions and a loss of coordination. You might also be unable to judge distance and have trouble paying attention to the road. Additionally, mixing alcohol with marijuana may cause you to weave in and out of lanes more frequently than if you took either substance by itself.
Car accidents after marijuana use
Experts know that marijuana affects the cognitive and motor skills you need to drive. However, it is not clear how often marijuana use results in a car accident. This is because some law enforcement officials may not perform a drug test once they know your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit. Additionally, marijuana can stay in your body for several days. This makes it hard for members of law enforcement to determine if this substance was a factor in a crash. Sometimes you may take marijuana and drink alcohol before you drive. In this situation, law enforcement officials may not be able to tell which substance caused more impairment.