According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 12 million people in 2018 admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Driving while under the impairment of any drug or substance is illegal across the U.S. However, law enforcement officials often have difficulty establishing that a person has been driving while under the influence of marijuana because, unlike drunk driving where there are easy to administer blood and breath tests, there are no simple tests to determine whether a person has been driving while under the influence of marijuana. Blood tests can record whether a person has THC (the active chemical in marijuana) in their system, but people can show positive results for THC days after smoking or ingesting marijuana.
Law enforcement officers might use other methods to determine whether a person has been driving while under the influence of marijuana. For example, officers may observe whether a driver has red eyes, whether the driver has paraphernalia related to marijuana use in his or her car, and whether the driver, in a roadside sobriety test, shows impairment consistent with marijuana use. Determining whether a person was impaired by marijuana use is a challenge, but through witness testimony, police reports, and circumstantial evidence, impaired driving can be detected. Drivers who fail roadside sobriety tests might be more likely to face charges of impaired driving.
Were you in a car accident where marijuana use was suspected? Was the other driver involved in your accident convicted of impaired driving? If you or someone you love was hurt in an impaired driving accident involving marijuana, you and your family might be entitled to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other costs. The Cooper Law Firm is a Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas personal injury law firm that works closely with victims and families to help them seek the outcome they may deserve under the law following a serious accident involving marijuana, alcohol, or other drug use.
Marijuana Impairment and Driving
How does marijuana affect a person’s driving ability? Marijuana is known to impact a person’s motor coordination, memory, time perception, and can slow down a person’s reaction time. Driving while under the influence of marijuana can impact a person’s ability to perceive distance and time, important judgements that are essential when driving. According to Very Well Mind, the chances of a crash can increase by double when drivers use marijuana before driving. Even if a driver hasn’t been smoking right before a crash, studies indicate that drivers with THC in their systems are more likely to be responsible for a crash, whether or not they have been smoking right before the accident. When even higher levels of THC were found in a person’s system, the chances of a crash were also increased.
In the aftermath of a serious crash, a driver suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be required to submit to breath or blood tests. If THC was found in the person’s system, victims of this crash may be able to pursue a personal injury case against the driver. Statistics show that drivers with THC in their systems might be more likely to be the negligent driver in a crash. Drivers have a responsibility to drive sober. When they fail to do so, serious accidents can happen. The Cooper Law Firm are Texas personal injury lawyers who can assist you with your accident claim if you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident.
Seek Justice Following Your Texas Car Accident
If you’ve been hurt because of another driver’s suspected marijuana use while driving, you may have important rights under the law. For example, you may have the right to seek damages for your medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the negligent driver and his or her insurers. Proving that a driver has been smoking or using marijuana before a crash can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Police reports, witness testimony, and other evidence can be used to show that a driver might have been impaired. If a driver is found guilty of impaired driving in a criminal case, you may have an easier time pursuing a civil case against the driver to receive compensation for your losses. The Cooper Law Firm are personal injury lawyers in Canton, Van Zandt, Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson, Paris, and Marshall, Texas, who may be able to assist you with your claim. Reach out to our firm today for a free initial consultation during which we can review your case and offer you an honest assessment of your case. Or, reach out to USAttorneys.com to get connected with the lawyers at the Cooper Law Firm.