New Study Shows that Stoned Drivers are Safer than Drunk Drivers
A recent study from the National Highway Safety Administration found that drivers who are high on marijuana are at significantly lower risk for getting into an accident than drivers who use alcohol. In fact, drivers who tested positive for marijuana were no more likely to crash than those who had not used any drugs or alcohol prior to driving. The findings in this study underscore an important point, namely that the presence of THC, marijuana’s primary active ingredient does not correlate with impairment in driving a motor vehicle.
This study should not be taken out of context and construed to mean that it’s safe to drive while under the influence of marijuana, explains Virginia personal injury attorney Jeffrey J. Downey. Driving under the influence is still a crime in all states in the United States and Virginia represents one of the toughest states when it comes to enforcing laws against driving while under the influence of narcotics, explains Downey. Despite the recent decriminalization of marijuana and even legalization of marijuana in some states, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, as dangerous as heroin.
Drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of a controlled substance may also be vulnerable to enhanced damage, s including claims of punitive damages that are available against drunk drivers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.