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Drivers who are 'high' may be safer than drunk drivers

Because of how our society feels about drunk driving, chances are that people may believe that driving while under the influence of marijuana can be more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol. After all, with so many people who are injured or killed in alcohol related accidents, and the taboo behind marijuana, it simply makes sense that drivers will be that much more dangerous with an illicit drug in their bloodstream.

However, this notion may be incorrect. In fact, drunk drivers are more dangerous to the driving public than drivers high on marijuana. According to a recent study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the amount of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in a person’s blood does not affect a driver’s judgment and motor skills in the same way that alcohol does. Moreover, it is difficult to predict how the drug will be absorbed into the body (i.e. how quickly). 

Nevertheless, there are a number of states that have enacted minimum THC levels that can be in a person’s blood before they can be charged with a crime. Colorado, for example, has established a five nanogram threshold for establishing impairment. However, as we alluded to earlier, it is difficult to predict how a certain level of marijuana will affect a person given certain factors that cannot be readily assessed, such as how often a person medicates and the potency of the marijuana.

Because of these variables, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side if you are charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. 

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