Washington State Initiative 502, which decriminalizes Cannabis, passed and portions of the initiative will become law on December 6th. Persons who have less than 1 oz of marijuana in their possession will not be prosecuted for possession.
As a personal injury lawyer who represents people who have been seriously injured by drunk drivers, I am concerned about people being seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver who is high on drugs.
Recently, I came across a Los Angeles Times article which cites a study by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTC) that revealed that drugs affect driving in one of every drivers who are driving at nighttime on weekends. This is nearly twice the number of those who are driving after having consumed alcohol.
The Office of Traffic Safety conducted a study roadside survey in nine California cities between 10pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Those who conducted the studies asked motorists to voluntarily undergo saliva and/or breath tests. In all, 1,300 drivers voluntarily submitted to testing.
According to the OTC study, 14% of drivers surveyed test positive for driving while under the influence of illegal and prescription drugs while only 7.3% of the drivers surveyed tested positive for alcohol.
Marijuana was the most prevalent drug that drivers tested positive for with 7.4% of drivers testing positive for Cannabis.
Former Seattle police chief and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy said:
“Drugged driving poses a serious threat to public safety.”
The new Washington law sets a “driving under the influence of drugs policy” for THC (the psychoactive ingredient of the Cannabis plant) that is tied to a specific THC level.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.
Washington State Pot Initiative and Impaired Driving