Marijuana Traffic Accidents a Growing Risk for South Florida Teens

We oftentimes talk about the risks associated with drinking and driving, but another real problem that often gets overlooked is the risks associated with drugged driving.  According to NBC News, this is a problem that’s taking hold of our younger drivers especially.

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Researchers are reporting that a growing number of high school seniors are driving under the influence of marijuana — or are riding along with someone who is high.

Our Boca Raton car accident lawyers understand that close to 30 percent of high school seniors admit to riding in a motor vehicle is the last 14 days with a driver who has consumed alcohol or used drugs, or they admitted to using themselves.  While reports indicate that drinking and driving has been on the decline in recent years, driving under the influence of marijuana has actually been on the rise, jumping from just 10 percent in 2008 to more than 12 percent in 2011.  The data was unveiled in the Monitoring the Future project, where each and ever year researchers interview close to 20,000 high school seniors across the nation.

“It has been increasing steadily and looking down the road, it seems likely to get worse. We are concerned,” said Patrick O’Malley with University of Michigan.

The big problem with this is that officials have not been able to figure out just how much marijuana is too much, as in there is no comparable DUI standard for marijuana usage.

According to the study, which was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it did not matter where these seniors were interviewed because there was usage all over the nation.  It seems to be a clear trend among most high school seniors.

Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, there are still some states that allow its usage for medical purposes.  Unfortunately, officials have not been able to stop the possession and usage of the substance even in the states which have continued to deem it illegal.

According to USA TODAY, people who use marijuana before driving are about  twice as likely to cause a car accident.  Researchers say the likelihood of being at fault increased as the blood concentration of marijuana increased.

A recent study published in Epidemiologic Reviews found that roughly 30 percent of drivers who were killed in traffic accidents returned a positive test for drugs other than alcohol, with marijuana being the main culprit.

As advocates continue to push for the legalization of marijuana in the state of Florida, the truth of the matter is that it’s still illegal and it’s still dangerous.  According to the Miami Herald, a medical marijuana group says it has cleared its first major hurdle to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot: Collecting enough voter signatures to trigger Florida Supreme Court review of the initiative’s language.

But regardless of laws, it’s critical to know when it’s okay, and when it’s not okay, to hop behind the wheel.  Stay safe and stay sober.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.