Has Legal Marijuana Caused an Increase in Car Accidents?

Has legal marijuana increased car accidents?Transportation officials across the country are concerned legal marijuana use could increase the number of drugged driving accidents. Research linking marijuana to accidents is problematic because it is difficult to test drivers impaired by the substance. Blood tests show that a driver has used marijuana, but not that they were impaired at the time of an accident. Drivers can test positive for THC several days or weeks after using.

According to www.drugabuse.gov, drivers may also combine marijuana with alcohol or other substances. For these reasons, it is difficult to study whether marijuana has caused an increase in car accidents.

On the other hand, there have been well publicized incidents of drivers causing accidents while impaired by marijuana. A California man under the influence of marijuana drove through a red light at 80 miles per hour and hit an SUV. The driver of the SUV was killed, and the impaired driver was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. Once police arrived on the scene of the accident, the at-fault driver asked for his marijuana. However, cases like this are not the norm.

Can Marijuana Breathalyzers Show Fault in Drugged Driving Accidents?

Hound Labs claims it has created a marijuana breathalyzer that can detect when drivers have smoked, vaped or ingested cannabis within the last two to three hours. THC leaves the bloodstream through the lungs, allowing this device to pick up on recent usage.

Depending on the situation, marijuana breathalyzers could be used by law enforcement to show drivers are impaired. Breathalyzers are sometimes used on the scene at drunk driving accidents, and this evidence can later be used in criminal and civil legal litigation.

Do you think marijuana breathalyzers, or similar devices, could reduce drugged driving accidents? Is it possible they will help show fault in these wrecks? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with the Colorado car accident attorneys at Metier Law Firm, LLC on Facebook!


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