Drugged Driving Endangers Alaskans

As recreational marijuana becomes more accepted and legalized across the country, lawmakers and policy makers have to content with an increasing threat---drivers operating a motor vehicle after consuming marijuana. Just like with drunk driving, drugged driving can lead to serious accidents and injuries.

An increasing danger

As marijuana use grows, so does drugged driving. From 2007 to 2014, the percentage of drivers who tested positive for drugs or marijuana rose from 12.4% to 15.1%. Additionally 38% of those who died in traffic accidents tested positive for legal or illegal drugs, nearly the same percentage that tested positive for alcohol. In fact, as drunk driving appears to be generally decreasing, drugged driving continues to rise, unabated.

Difficult to quantify

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine exactly how dangerous drugged driving is. Some reports suggests that drug use can double the chance of a serious accident. However, studies have been inconsistent. Particularly given the difficulty of quantifying exactly how much of a drug is in a person's system, it can be difficult to tell when the danger increases.

Legal Solutions

Different states have addressed the increasing marijuana use differently. 15 states currently have zero tolerance laws on the books, meaning that any amount of drug in your system is illegal while driving. A few others set a legal limit that can be detected by blood test. Alaska, however, has no limit for marijuana consumption while driving. This potentially could further endanger Alaskan drivers who have to contend with drugged drivers on the streets.

High profile cases

Several high profile cases of drugged driving have occurred over the last several months. The most famous of these was the Las Vegas case, where a woman drove into more than 30 pedestrians walking along the Las Vegas Strip. The driver purposely hit the pedestrians again and again, going repeatedly onto the sidewalk. Several pedestrians were killed, more were injured. Testing of the driver showed that she was not under the influence of alcohol. However, marijuana was found in her system, and potentially could have contributed to her actions.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced attorney who can protect your rights. You need someone who can help figure out why the accident occurred, and make sure those responsible are held accountable for their actions. An experienced attorney can make sure that you receive the compensation you need to recover from the accident and rebuild your life.