Today’s post comes to us from fellow ignition interlock provider, LifeSafer.
On January 1st Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use, allowing individuals to buy a limited amount of marijuana in the same way they can buy alcohol. Although pot activists celebrated this law across the country, it has opened the door to a new problem – stoned driving.
If a person is stopped for drinking and driving in Colorado, there are Breathalyzer tests for blood alcohol content, but at this time there is no real way to test for drivers who are under the influence of marijuana. With no marijuana Breathalyzer on the horizon, law enforcement have been stepping up both the education and enforcement of stoned driving. Officers in the state are now going through rigorous programs to become drug recognition experts.
To see the dangers of stoned driving, you just need to read the latest news out of Colorado. Incidences of stoned driving are now beginning to ramp up, and they include a case where a man drove into two patrol cars while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Experts are predicting the problem is only going to increase, and even the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Drug Control Strategy is seeking to do a study to track the growing problem of stoned driving.
One of the problems with marijuana is it doesn’t metabolize in the body in the same predictable way alcohol does, so there is no real way of establishing a limit for use before driving. Marijuana has been said to slow down drivers more than alcohol, and drivers have been found to wander in their lanes and lack proper reflexes. Because of that, law enforcement are now beginning to track offenders and compile a baseline for who drives under the influence of marijuana.
As with driving under the influence of alcohol, it’s recommend strongly that if you plan on smoking marijuana, don’t get behind the wheel.