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Detecting drivers who are impaired by marijuana

On Behalf of | May 6, 2019 | Car Accidents |

Some West Virginia motorists have the mistaken belief that it is safe to drive while they are under the influence of marijuana. However, doing so may cause drivers to be impaired and can potentially lead to accidents.

People who drive under the influence of marijuana can be charged with DUIs. However, determining whether someone is under the influence of marijuana is difficult for law enforcement officers. There isn’t a simple breath test that can be administered to drivers who are suspected of driving while high. Blood or urine tests may be positive for marijuana even if someone has not recently smoked it.

The American Transportation Research Institute has called for adding more drug recognition experts on police departments. DREs are police officers who have received specialized training to recognize the symptoms of impairment caused by using drugs. In 2017, 8,086 drug recognition experts in the U.S. completed 30,989 assessments during traffic stops. Out of the people who were evaluated by DREs, the majority who were under the influence had used marijuana.

People who drive while they are under the influence of marijuana endanger themselves as well as others who are traveling around them on the roads. People who suffer serious injuries in accidents that were caused by impaired truck or passenger car drivers may want to get help from experienced personal injury lawyers who may be able to gather evidence that the at-fault driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. This type of evidence may make their clients’ claims stronger so that they are likelier to recover compensation to pay for the economic and non-economic losses that they have incurred.