Posted on February 27, 2014 in Personal Injury
Given the increased permissibility and accessibility of marijuana throughout Colorado, questions have been raised regarding the impact of marijuana use on driving performance and the risk of motor vehicle collisions. While scientific research on this issue has gained momentum in recent years, the results are clouded by inconsistent findings and methodologies. Some researchers believe marijuana has a minimal effect on psychomotor skills. Others have concluded drivers who tested positive for marijuana within several hours of use were more than twice as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Unfortunately, this topic is no longer just academic in nature. In 2013, voters in Colorado approved Amendment 64, making it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to use or possess marijuana for any purpose. While the law did not make it legal for people to smoke pot and get behind the wheel, many users continue to do so. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed an estimated 10.3 million adults (3.9 percent) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs the year prior. According to the National Highway Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) census, 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement in 2009.
As an experienced personal injury attorney in Denver, I cannot stress enough the importance of using the newly legalized drug in a safe manner. Users have to understand the negative consequences associated with driving under the influence of marijuana including short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and perception of time and distance. By way of example, in January of 2014, one week after the new law passed, a 23-year-old man crashed his pickup into the rear of two Colorado State Patrol cars. A State Patrol spokeswoman said shortly after the collision that investigators suspected the driver was impaired by marijuana when the crash happened. This incident is one example of what could be a disturbing trend: a rise in marijuana-impaired driving.
It is clear that driving under the influence of marijuana is deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an intoxicated driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Denver today for a free consultation.
If you were injured by a stoned driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today for a free consultation.