Is Driving After Smoking Marijuana Legal?
Most people understand the fact that cannabis is not the same as alcohol when it comes to intoxication. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people who use marijuana are safe to drive.
Since cannabis legalization is still relatively new, the laws surrounding usage before driving and how much is too much are a little unclear. Here’s what you should know about driving under the influence of Marijuana.
National Institute of Justice Says THC Levels Not a Reliable Indicator of Intoxication
THC levels are “unreliable indicators of marijuana intoxication,” according to a study released on April 5, 2021, by the National Institute of Justice.
There is a fundamental impact of cannabis on the body and the impact of alcohol, and per the NIJ’s research, “there is little evidence correlating a specific THC level with impaired driving, making marijuana per se laws controversial and difficult to prosecute.” As a result, routine field sobriety tests or testing THC levels are largely ineffective when used to assess motorists suspected of cannabis impairment.
Roadside Sobriety Tests For Cannabis Consumption
Motorists accused of cannabis impairment are often subjected to conventional roadside sobriety tests, just as they are for motorists suspected of alcohol intoxication. Once charged, the state will seek to establish that you were inebriated, impaired, and unfit to drive. Field sobriety tests typically include assessments for indicators of impairment, like stumbling, slurred speech, and vision problems.
NIJ’s Safe Driving Skills
The NIJ report suggests that more accurate indicators of whether a person suspected of marijuana intoxication is safe to drive or not are as follows:
- Balance and coordination
- Ability to follow instructions
- Memory retention
- Ability to make appropriate judgment calls quickly
- Ability to move quickly and appropriately
The report also proposes that cannabis does not impact the areas of the brain responsible for these critical skills, at least not in the same way as alcohol. Arguably, motorists who have high THC levels in their bloodstream are not necessarily automatically impaired behind the wheel.
Call Ocean City DWI Lawyer Richard Brueckner Today
If you were arrested and charged with drunk or intoxicated driving in Ocean City, MD, you need to reach out to an experienced Ocean City DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Richard Brueckner today for more information or to schedule your consultation at 410-430-1464. Our team is available now to provide you with the caring and comprehensive legal assistance you need after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.