With the increasing demand to legalize marijuana in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Joseph Lipsky wants proponents of legalization to realize that driving under the influence of marijuana has resulted in a dramatic increase in wrongful death car accidents in other states which have already legalized pot. While the deadly effects of a stoned driver are well known, unlike with drunk driving prevention, the issue confronting law enforcement is how to determine when a marijuana user is too stoned to drive.
Unlike alcohol use, which in Florida subjects a driver to criminal charges if he/she has a blood alcohol level of .08, marijuana uses has no such comparable test. As of yet, there is no test to determine when a pot smokes is too high to driver, although we would argue that no amount of marijuana use is safe, if the smoker is going to be driving. Considering THC affects different users differently, as of now there is no way to determine if a particular “level” of THC in the blood stream equates to being too stoned to drive safely.
Not surprisingly, legal marijuana supporters like to point to a Department of Transportation study which determined that drunk drivers present a greater danger than stoned drivers. This position deflects from the point, which is that both drunk and stoned drivers are a danger to other motorists and pedestrians. Considering the difficulties associated with testing for THC, which requires a blood test, rather than a breath test as is available for suspected drunk drivers; determining the amount of THC in a person’s blood, so that they may be arrested for being impaired, is not accurate. Law enforcement advocates recommend using a “road-side” test, similar to suspected drunk drivers, to try to ascertain the level at which a person is functioning while behind the wheel.
Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky strongly suggests both illegal and legal marijuana users avoid getting behind the wheel of a car anytime they are under the influence. While users make their own lifestyle choices, other drivers and pedestrians should not be subjected to the possible dangers associated with those peoples’ choices.