23 May Legal Marijuana Increases Your DUI Risk
As of last year, marijuana was legalized in Nevada for recreational use. This means that anyone in Nevada over the age of 21 can walk into a licensed dispensary and come out with up to one ounce of marijuana. You are allowed to have it on your person, in your car and in your home. You are allowed to smoke it and consume edibles made with it. The rules regarding smoking marijuana are that you need to be inside a private residence and out of the view of the public. You are not allowed to smoke marijuana on the street, in a public building or in your car. You are also not allowed to smoke it in most hotel rooms, although those that are not directly connected to a casino may have a policy that allows you to smoke inside specific rooms. All of this is good news for Nevada residents and tourists who wanted to consume marijuana products legally, and soon we will also have public “lounges” where people can bring marijuana to smoke. On each side of the legalization issue there are people who will cite studies and statistics in support of their belief that it should be legal or not. One statistic that has increased over the time frame of marijuana being legal is the DUI arrest numbers. There is no way to spin the numbers one way or another, there are simply more DUI arrests since the legalization of marijuana than there were before it was made legal.
No matter how you feel about the legalization of marijuana, there are few that are going to argue in favor of driving while intoxicated. Driving under those circumstances causes many deaths and injuries each year, and the best policy is to never drive while you are intoxicated, under any circumstances. The increases in the amount of DUI arrests however, is probably tied directly to the portion of DUI arrests that are simple mistakes. Just like there have always been people who think they are fine to drive because they do not feel drunk, yet they test over the legal limit, there are also those who smoke marijuana the same way. The fact is that most people will no longer feel drunk long before their BAC is within the legal limits, and most people will no longer feel high long before they are within legal limits as well. These people are victims of poor judgment and have not been caught DUI because of a malicious reason, they simply did not think they were legally drunk. The legalization of marijuana has added a significant portion of the population to the statistics of people who were caught driving while they were still under the influence of marijuana, at least from a legal standpoint. Marijuana has many different strengths and will effect people differently, so it is never a good idea to drive within 24 hours of smoking or using marijuana products. It is nearly impossible to tell how much marijuana will put you over the legal limit. Don’t risk it.
If you have been arrested for marijuana DUI, contact us.