How Much THC Makes You Impaired? - Personal Injury Legal Blogs Posted by Michael John Tario - Lawyers.com

How Much THC Makes You Impaired?

With Washington and Colorado
States legalizing marijuana for recreational use, law enforcement tactics are
changing. Laws around marijuana have gone from a focus on prohibition to
regulation. New laws are being enacted to regulate distribution, taxation, age
restrictions, and how much marijuana is reasonable for a person to possess for
personal use. One of the more difficult questions to answer is what constitutes
legal intoxication and how that correlates to driving while impaired. How
stoned is too stoned to drive safely?

Both the Washington and Colorado
State Legislatures passed house bills that declare five nanograms as the legal
limit for impairment. If a person is pulled over and a blood screen detects
five or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in a person’s
bloodstream, that individual is considered legally under the influence of
drugs.

It can be difficult for a person
to know when they are too impaired to drive whether from alcohol or marijuana.
The main difference for law enforcement is the easy availability of breathalyzer
tests to quantify blood alcohol levels and the relative difficulty of imposing
a blood test to check for THC levels. Over time, these sorts of dilemmas will
be answered by clear laws but we are not there yet. It is important to note
that the body of science describing marijuana’s effects on the brain and body is
broad but doesn’t enjoy wide consensus. Five nanograms per milliliter is perhaps
a place for policy to start but it might be reasonable to expect changes to the
law as scientific consensus is reached.

Driving while stoned is a crime
in all 50 states but only some have set actual limits for THC in blood levels. It’s
important to note that unlike blood alcohol levels, THC levels in the blood do
not necessarily have anything to do with impairment. Marijuana is metabolized
in the body’s fat cells and can be detected in the blood for as long as three
months after last use in frequent pot smokers.

More than a dozen states have implemented
"per se" cannabis driving laws that authorize a DUI conviction,
without trial, to anyone exceeding the state’s THC blood limit. Most of those states
have legal blood THC limits of zero. The federal government has not gotten on
board with the decriminalization of marijuana and is still recommending that all
states pass zero-tolerance “per se” driving laws.

The remaining/majority of states
have effect-based laws that require evidence of impairment from recent
ingestion of a controlled substance before a DUI conviction is authorized. See
your state’s marijuana driving laws here.

“Per se” cannabis driving laws have not
been shown to reduce traffic fatalities,
and they may be inadvertently making
criminals out of people who are using a controlled substance in a legal manner.

Washington State passed a “per se”
driving law and more and more people are testing positive for marijuana since
the substance was made legal for recreational use.
It should be noted that the boost
in numbers may actually be due to more blood tests rather than an increase in drug
use.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have
enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident
attorney
fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not
uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten
times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario &
Associates, P.S
. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up
front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

With Washington and Colorado
States legalizing marijuana for recreational use, law enforcement tactics are
changing. Laws around marijuana have gone from a focus on prohibition to
regulation. New laws are being enacted to regulate distribution, taxation, age
restrictions, and how much marijuana is reasonable for a person to possess for
personal use. One of the more difficult questions to answer is what constitutes
legal intoxication and how that correlates to driving while impaired. How
stoned is too stoned to drive safely?

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Michael John Tario

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