Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal, and nothing Washington and Colorado voters passed this month to tax and regulate the sale of pot for recreational use by adults over 21 changes that. But time will tell whether the ability to buy or possess marijuana legally will bring about an increase of the number of marijuana users on the roads.
Statistics gathered for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that in 2009, a third of fatally injured drivers with known drug test results were positive for drugs other than alcohol. Among randomly stopped weekend nighttime drivers in 2007, more than 16 percent were positive for drugs.
Currently most driving under the influence of drug arrests are based upon police observations, followed by a chemical test of blood. And unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there’s no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use.
Expect lawyers in Colorado and Washington lawyers to challenge DUI statutes in their states. So expect more blogs on this topic in the future.