Legalized Marijuana and Car Accidents

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has reported that car accidents have risen by about 3% in states that have legalized marijuana. The HLDI stated that:

“More drivers admit to using marijuana, and it is showing up more frequently among people involved in crashes. Though there is evidence from simulator and on-road studies that marijuana can degrade some aspects of driving performance, researchers haven’t been able to definitively connect marijuana use with more frequent real-world crashes. Some studies have found that using the drug could more than double crash risk, while others, including a large-scale federal case-control study, have failed to find a link between marijuana use and crashes. Studies on the effects of legalizing marijuana for medical use also have been inconclusive.”

Read the original article here.

While marijuana is still illegal in New Jersey, some lawmakers are working towards making it legal. However, whether marijuana is legal or not, driving under the influence of marijuana is and will still be illegal under the New Jersey’s driving while intoxicated / driving under the influence laws.

In fact, driving under the influence of drugs can be more serious in some cases than drunk driving. For example, the license suspension penalty for a first offense drunk driving case where the defendant’s blood alcohol content is between 0.08% and 0.10% is 3 months. However, the license suspension for a first offense driving under the influence of drugs is 7 months.

Call Jason T. Komninos, Esq. at (201) 343-4622 to schedule a consultation.