If you’ve ever been pulled on suspicion of drunken driving, you know the officer will ask you to complete 3 steps: follow his hand, heel to toe and one legged stand. If you fail these tests the officer will most likely go about charging you with Driving While Impaired (DWI or DUI). The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are proven to catch 88 Percent of Drivers who are Driving Under the Influence in North Carolina each year.
However, when it comes to Marijuana inhalation, these tests are found to be nowhere near as effective. In a 2012 Study the Journal of Psychopharmacology stated that these tests on detect 30 Percent of the People under the Influence of Marijuana. The research also indicated that when attempting to detect someone Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana, the test depended heavily on whether the driver was accustomed to being stoned.
During the one legged stand, someone Driving While Impaired (DWI or DUI) due to Alcohol will wobble on one foot. However, the stoner will probably not be detected and the guy who smoked his first Marijuana joint probably will. 50 Percent of Non-Frequent Marijuana users failed the test.
As States legalize Marijuana, there will be more and more questions about the risks of Driving While Stoned. Current surveys have shown that the North Carolina Public, including Greensboro, High Point and Asheboro, don’t think DUI Laws apply to Marijuana.
Studies at this point in time have shown that Smoking Marijuana and driving appears to be far less dangerous than Driving While Impaired due to Alcohol. That being said, research has shown that Smoking Marijuana prior to driving can double the risk of a Car Accident. This compared to Driving While Impaired due to Alcohol which has shown that the percentage increase for an accident is 20 Times that of a Sober Driver.
Research has also shown that Drivers react different to Marijuana when Driving than Driver’s under the influence of Alcohol. DUI due to Alcohol tends to cause drivers to overestimate their skills and drive faster than normal; whereas, drivers under the influence of Marijuana tend to drive slower.
Marijuana tends to cause the most problems when the Driver is faced with multiple tasks at once or with something totally unexpected. The effects of Marijuana can greatly effect the ability of a driver to react.
As studies continue to be done on the effects of Marijuana on Driving, researchers and other experts agree, that the main focus on DWI or DUI at this point in time should be on Alcohol. They say Alcohol poses the greatest danger, and lowering the legal limit should be the top priority.
Contact our Greensboro DUI Lawyers today if you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI in Greensboro, High Point or Asheboro. 336-379-0539!