Non-Alcohol-Related DUI’s in California
KION Central Coast News recently reported on the increasing trend in non-alcohol-related DUI’s in California. Last year in Monterey County, law enforcement officers with the California Highway Patrol arrested 80 drivers for being under the influence of drugs. With the increase in medical marijuana use, it’s important to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving. Having a medical marijuana card, doesn’t give you the right to drive under the influence. Equally important to note, there are many prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can also cause drivers to become impaired.
Addressing New Safety Concerns
According to officials with the California Highway Patrol, there has been an increase in arrests for drivers under the influence of drugs. While medical marijuana use is certainly the hot topic right now, drivers are also getting behind the wheel while taking various prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. It’s important to note that a variety of different medications can impact a driver’s ability to safely navigate the roadways. Most people know that taking drugs and driving don’t mix, but impaired drivers are still getting behind the wheel. Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been using marijuana, even if you have a medical marijuana card. Next, read drug labels very carefully. Most drugs will specify if they make users drowsy or are contraindicated for driving and operating heavy machinery. If you’re not sure, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Future Regulation and Testing
Officer Jaime Rios, with the California Highway Patrol, remarked that testing for marijuana is much different than testing for alcohol. At this time, there is no industry-wide test available like the ‘breath test’ for drivers who have been drinking. With an increase in medical marijuana card holders across the state, there will likely be a push for stricter regulation. This means that law enforcement officials could see some type of enforceable ‘legal limit’ in the near future.
What to do After an Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an impaired driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Impaired drivers may not even be drinking alcohol, so it’s important for an attorney to stay abreast of official investigations. Prescription drug use and medical marijuana can both cause impairment in drivers.