Pot And Pills Can Get You a DUI

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Pot And Pills Can Get You a DUI

I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento. January first in the new year will bring several notable changes to California. One high profile topic is the legalization of recreational cannabis (marijuana). Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a crime-please be sure to familiarize yourself with the new changes to ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists.

Driving Under the Influence

Nearly everyone already knows about the risks of drunk driving, but many people are not necessarily as informed when it comes to other substances that can impair drivers. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has recently been promoting a campaign to raise awareness of “drugged driving” in preparation of the pending cannabis legalization. Officials have studied the results of this sort of legislation being passed in states like Colorado and Oregon. You may have seen some of the traffic signs in our community displaying messages like: “drive high, get a DUI.”

Officials are also worried that legalization will promote cannabis use among new users and others who may not have smoked pot in many years. Experts have noted that the average potency of marijuana has nearly quadrupled since the 1980s-the grass really has gotten greener. While there has been little evidence to show any risk of fatal overdose, inexperienced users can be prone to extreme paranoia, hallucination, and panic attacks. Additionally, the delayed effects of foods laced with marijuana can surprise unfamiliar users about an hour after ingestion. When put in the context of motor vehicle operation, cannabis use can clearly pose serious safety risks.

Not in the Car

While the recent decriminalization and pending legalization of cannabis has many Californian’s feeling groovy, one particularly meaningful stipulation excludes use inside motor vehicles. This restriction forbids both drivers and passengers from consuming marijuana (be it edibles, smokeables, vape, dabs, and all manner of clever inventions) in a vehicle. Failure to comply could result in arrest and conviction of driving under the influence or the assignment of negligent operator points.

Drive High, Get a DUI – California’s Office of Traffic Safety’s Public Service Announcement:

Prescription Medication Can Impair Drivers

Some medications prescribed by doctors are aptly labeled as potentially impairing a user’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, especially when treating chronic or long term conditions. The negative effects of these drugs are often magnified when consumed with alcohol, resulting in the significantly enhanced effects of both. This “potent cocktail” can also impair drivers when mixing marijuana with other medications or alcohol.

The OTS is also campaigning to raise awareness about the risks of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. See their video: DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.

Related Content from Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith:

Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can kill. If you or someone you love have been hurt or even killed as a result of a drunk or negligent driver, please reach out to me for help. I am available at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400, and online at AutoAccident.com for free, friendly advice with no obligation.

I have served Sacramento and Northern California for over 35 years, championing the rights of injured people and their families. Visit Avvo, Yelp and Google to read some of their comments.

I have won or settled many million-dollar cases over the years. The Million Dollar Forum has recognized me for my work in securing million-dollar awards for my clients. See some of my past Verdicts and Settlements here.

Photo Attribution: Wikimedia Commons, Breathalyzer by KOMUnews. CC BY 2.0
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