It is very easy to get caught up in the furor over drunk driving to forget that the charge for such an infraction is called "driving under the influence." That phrase is vague for a reason: such a driver could be under the influence of any number of intoxicants, including prescription or recreational drugs. A DUI doesn't inherently mean that the driver consumed too much alcohol.
The reason why this is important is due to the current furor over marijuana legalization. The movement has gained a lot of steam, especially with Colorado and Washington legalizing the drug last November. It has always been a touchstone debate in this country, but it seems as though the tide has taken a permanent turn. So what does this mean for our roads? Will there be drugged drivers everywhere?
Maybe that's a bit hyperbolic, but according to a new study, things aren't going in the right direction. The study, which looked at 23,500 people who died within one hour of a fatal car accident, found that one out of every nine people involved in a fatal crash will test positive for marijuana. The crashes in the study were from 1999 to 2010.
The study went on to say that the number of crashes involving drugged driving has tripled in the past decade, and that if the trend continues at this pace, non-alcoholic drugs will surpass alcohol in fatal car accidents involving an impaired driver.
No matter how it happens, impaired driving is reckless and negligent. Those who are hurt by such a driver should seek legal help so that they can build a personal injury case.
Source: thenewsstar.com, "Study: Fatal car crashes involving pot tripled in U.S.," Dennis Thompson, HealthDay, Feb. 7, 2014