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Study: driving after marijuana use doubles car crash risk

NORML and other cannabis activists have been saying it for years: people should use cannabis responsibly and never drive while impaired. It is unlikely to be a shock to anyone who uses marijuana that a new study shows that driving after consuming cannabis can double the risk of a car accident.

We all know that there are DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) laws in Colorado that carry harsh penalties, very similar to the penalties meted out for driving under the influence of alcohol. Some do question whether society really has its priorities in order, however.

There have been countless studies done on the effects of alcohol on drivers. There is no doubt that alcohol consumed to excess impairs a person’s ability to drive.

The new study on marijuana confirms that marijuana impairment doubles the risk of a crash.

At the same time, there has been over the past decade or so, an enormous body of research done that shows that texting while driving doubles (or more) the risk of crashes.

While it is illegal in Colorado to text while driving, the punishment for breaking this law is $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense.

What’s the punishment for a first DUI? Punishments can include jail time, installation of an ignition interlock device in your car, fees and fines totaling hundreds of dollars, mandatory alcohol classes, loss of driving privileges, plus a hefty spike in your car insurance rate.

According to researchers, texting, driving drunk and driving impaired by marijuana can all significantly increase the possibility of a crash. Yet texting, which is arguably by far the most common of the three activities, is the one for which punishment is the lightest.

No matter which set of penalties you face after a DUID or DUI arrest, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system while protecting your rights.

Source: Huffington Post, "Putting Marijuana DUI in Perspective," Sam Tracy, Oct. 22, 2014

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