Like drunk driving, driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal. However, unlike drunk driving, there is no breath test or blood test that can determine whether a person was driving while under the influence of marijuana. While a blood test might be able to detect marijuana in a person’s system if the person has used the substance recently, a blood test won’t be able to conclusively conclude that a person has been using the substance right before driving, and a test cannot conclude that a person is currently under the influence. Marijuana can be detected in a person’s system anywhere from 3 days to a month after use, depending on how much a person uses.
So, if you’ve been in a car accident and suspect that the other driver might have been under the influence of marijuana, what can you do? First, call the police and make an accident report. Police are trained to look for signs of impaired driving. Police might inspect a driver’s vehicle for evidence of marijuana or paraphernalia. Police may also conduct roadside sobriety tests to determine whether a person is under the influence. If circumstantial evidence, along with a positive blood test are presented as evidence, the driver might be charged with driving while under the influence. If a driver is charged with driving while under the influence, you and your family might have an easier time making a claim for damages, like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs stemming from your car crash. If the other driver wasn’t charged, but is suspected of driving while impaired, you may still have options under the law. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. is a car accident law firm in Yuma, Arizona that works with car accident victims and their families to help them get the compensation they may deserve under the law.
The Risks of Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
While it can be challenging to study the direct accident risks that marijuana impaired driving poses because researchers are relying on self-reports and not on direct tests like blood or breath tests to determine inebriation, the impact of marijuana on the human body has been studied. The effects of marijuana use are well-documented. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana can cause a range of psychological and physiological changes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these changes can include: changes to your sensation and perception, changes to your perception of time, difficulty moving or changes in reaction time, and changes to your thinking, memory, and mood. In higher doses, marijuana can cause psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions. All of these effects can impact a person’s ability to safely drive. These impacts can slow reaction time, leading to accidents, and can impair a person’s judgement, which can lead to accidents. Marijuana can also leave a user relaxed, which can mean that the driver might be fatigued.
If you or someone you love was hurt because a person had smoked or used marijuana before driving, you may have the right to seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, and pain and suffering. You may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim, however. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. is a car accident law firm in Yuma, Arizona that works closely with the victims of car crashes to help them seek the recovery they may deserve under the law.
Marijuana While Driving Increasing Across the Country
As marijuana has become legal for recreational use in many states, more people are reporting that they are smoking and driving. While Arizona remains illegal for recreational use in Arizona, there may still be people on the road, illegally smoking and driving. More people than ever are using marijuana and driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 12 million people in 2018 alone admitted to smoking or using marijuana and then driving. People may not be aware that they are running the risk of hurting others when they make this choice. Police are also still working to find ways to more effectively test whether a person is under the influence. If you have been in a car crash and suspect that marijuana may have played a role in your accident, you might have the right to seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The car accident attorneys at Schneider & Onofry, P.C. in Yuma, Arizona can work with you and your family to help you seek the recovery you may deserve under the law. Reach out to our firm today to learn more or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with an attorney at Schneider & Onofry, P.C. today.