As you are probably aware, the laws in California have changed drastically regarding marijuana, and many people’s viewpoints have changed also, loosening up regarding the plant which is known to be a psychoactive drug but responsible for helping many individuals with a wide range of health conditions from cancer and multiple sclerosis to more minor issues like insomnia and inflammatory bowel disease. It is now legal to use marijuana both for medical and recreational use, but it is not legal to drive under the influence. There are complications with that statement, however, as everyone is still wondering what constitutes ‘under the influence’ when it comes to weed.
As a driver, you should be aware when you are too high to drive and stay home or have someone else or a cab take you to a required destination. Just as with alcohol—while you may not be slurring and losing your balance—your reflexes are slowed while you are under the influence of marijuana, and it could take several hours to come down from the high, depending on how much you ingested or smoked. This means you could much more easily misjudge taking a left turn at an intersection (which is already one of the most dangerous areas of traffic even if you are completely sober) or making any other turn, especially in heavy traffic. You are at greater risk for rear-ending another car and being at-fault, along with having an accident in road-construction areas where navigating through traffic can be tricky under any circumstances. Drivers under the influence may also, like drunk drivers, have trouble following the speed limit and driving in their own lanes.
Data may still be somewhat hazy on how much danger stoned drivers are posing on the roads, but recent news showed that other drivers (up to 40 percent of them) do have the perception that drivers under the influence of marijuana are causing accidents. Statistics also show that 91 percent of drivers in the US do believe that driving while high is hazardous. Other studies have also shown a connection between marijuana in states where it has been legalized and a small uptick in accidents and fatalities. The key is to avoid driving if you have been partaking in any type of substance that will impair your faculties.
If you need legal assistance with a criminal matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws including drug charges, white collar crimes, DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault charges, and violent & serious felonies. At the Dolan Law Offices, we provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.