A lot of attention is paid to the enforcement of drunk driving, but a new study shows that drunk driving may be on the rise. A study that originally appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that 28% of drivers involved in fatal auto accidents tested positive for drugs with marijuana being the most common drug found. This is only one of many recent studies that work to emphasize the dangers of drugged driving.
The News-Herald reports that in light of these types of studies, many state police forces are looking into ways to increase drugged driving awareness and crack down on drivers who are under the influence of drugs. Marijuana is of particular interest to law enforcement. It states that, marijuana use in general has increased in recent years and is particularly high in states like Washington where recreational use has been legalized. Additionally, the article states that marijuana manufactured for commercial use tends to have higher levels of THC then seen in the past. This means that users may become impaired more than they are used to and at higher levels than ever before.
What the study does not address, however, is how THC concentration actually affects a person's ability to drive. Though many driving fatalities have resulted from drivers with marijuana in their system, this does not necessarily mean that the marijuana was to blame for the fatal accident. In many cases the two may be unrelated. Drugged driving is difficult to measure and, therefore, to perform testing for many reasons. One reason is because, unlike alcohol, drugs such as marijuana stay in the user's system long after the physical effects have worn off.
Even in states where marijuana use is legal, a driver can be accused of DUI for operating a vehicle with the drug in their system. If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle, contact an experienced attorney right away.