It cannot be argued that alcohol and drugs have the ability to impair the individuals who use them. This is especially true when it comes to those who attempt to drive while under the influence. Strict DUI laws have been put in place to reprimand those who attempt actions of this nature, but a surefire way to prevent against driving under "unsafe" limits has yet to be established. As it stands, both drugs and alcohol have been cited as notable risk factors that could lead to unsafe driving practices, and the laws concerning each are somewhat different. Some individuals believe that they are more at risk of impairment when under the influence of drugs than alcohol. The fact that drugs of any kind – marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, etc. – are illegal in any amount has led many to assume that these will naturally result in more impaired affects than would the use of alcohol. In fact, some studies have tried to prove exactly that.
In a recent study conducted by the British Medical Journal, the results of a number of different studies were pooled together specifically to review to effects of cannabis use among impaired drivers. With more than 2,975 studies to choose from, the review referenced nine as the ones that seemed to best meet the criteria the journal was investigating. Overall, the analytical assessment looked at both injury and fatality accidents and used the combined data found from each of the studies to yield its own set of results. Seven of the nine reviews showed a positive relationship between cannabis use and an increased risk of car accidents, citing a pooled risk of 1.92. This number accounts for a blood alcohol concentration BAC level of approximately .06% or .07%.
Missing from the study were important discerning factors such as dosage levels, usage experience, and the amount of time elapsed since ingestion of the substance. Therefore, the results yielded in the journal's investigation were only somewhat reflective of the true effects that could be caused by marijuana use of any nature. Furthermore, the study failed to mention the ways in which the results of cannabis use related to any other type of potentially impairing activity such as alcohol consumption. When looking at the facts, users of cannabis were actually responsible for a fewer number of motor vehicle crashes than those impaired by alcohol. On average, reports have indicated that drunk drivers account for about 29.48 of all crash risks and these are accidents caused by drivers with a an impairment of .16% - well above the numbers reported in conjunction with marijuana use. Even non-substance impairments have been shown to be riskier than cannabis use, the perfect example being texting and driving. Drivers that multitask, especially those who attempt to text while operating a vehicle, are 23x more likely to be involved in a car collision. Again, this is a number dramatically higher than those yielded in the cannabis study conducted by the British Medical Journal.
While the reports of the study may be somewhat skewed, its overall message can still be taken to heart: Drug use puts drivers at an increased risk of crashing the motor vehicles they are operating at the time. Therefore, if you have recently been arrested on suspicion of a DUI that was caused by your drug use then you are not alone, nor do you need to navigate your way through the legal process solo. In fact, with the help of an Orange County DUI attorney on your side, you will never have to feel alone in the process again. At The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our legal team is prepared to handle all types of DUI cases, from felony offenses to out-of-state arrests, and even drug related DUIs. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, then you should not wait to contact an Orange County DUI lawyer from our firm as soon as possible for the defense strategies needed to guide you through this difficult time.