Smoking Marijuana and Drinking While Driving is More Hazardous

With more and more states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, the law enforcement agencies all over have a new cause for concern when it comes to intoxicated driving.

Researchers at the Institute for Human Psychopharmacology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands found that combining alcohol with pot more severely inhibits a driver’s ability to operate a car than using either one alone. In a controlled test, drivers showed weakened capacity with both low and moderate levels of alcohol or pot consumption. However, when the two substances were consumed together, drivers became more severely impaired and exhibited issues similar to someone with a BAC between 0.09 and 0.14 even though their actual BAC was well under the legal limit for driving.

The research raises new questions for many courts, agencies and lawmakers who working through the implications of legalized pot on impaired driving laws and limits. In the end, these study results could possibly slow efforts to expand access and usage of marijuana into establishments that serve alcohol. For example, in November, Denver may be asked to decide if bars or clubs can allow patrons to use marijuana on the premises.

Supporters of legalization argue bars are a logical place to allow legal, public consumption of the drug, but some health and law enforcement officials say that simultaneous access to pot and alcohol will create new issues, including unknowingly increasing levels of physical impairment and ultimately dangerous driving.

No matter what substance you’re choosing to put in your body, driving impaired is a dangerous road to go down. If you do find yourself down that street, you need support. Contact Carl Anderson Law today for a free consultation and see what we can do for you by calling 801-285-0303.