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Alcohol and Marijuana Use Increase Drunk Driving Risks

Motorists who are drunk behind the wheel may be twice as likely to become involved in a car accident than someone sober, depending upon the level of alcohol consumed. Even with a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent, which is below the legal limit, a motorist is already impaired enough to increase crash risks.

Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been tremendously successful at helping people realize the dangers of driving impaired, and the chances of a DUI crash have declined significantly since the 1970s. Despite this, around 10,000 people are killed each year in DUI crashes.

Unfortunately, there is a new risk that could make the roads even more dangerous. There are increasing numbers of people using marijuana as a result of a nationwide shift in how marijuana is treated.

Legalization has become an acceptable and even mainstream political position when it comes to medicinal use of marijuana and there is growing support for legalization or at least decriminalization of recreational use. While there are conflicting opinions about how dangerous driving under the influence of marijuana is, it is clear that having more impaired people on the roads is not a good thing.

When a person uses alcohol or drugs and a motor vehicle crash results, victims of the collision can pursue a damage claim against the impaired driver to recover for crash losses. A Janesville auto accident lawyer can provide legal representation to victims of an impaired driving crash who want to take action to obtain payment for economic and non-financial losses.

Alcohol and Marijuana Use Increase Risk of DUI Accidents in Janesville

According to the Daily Mail, there is a new risk apparently associated with the use of marijuana — using marijuana makes it more likely that someone will drive drunk. In fact, recent studies have shown that a person who has used marijuana and alcohol together is around twice as likely to drive while inebriated than someone who has just used alcohol alone.

Aside from the fact that marijuana can cause impaired judgment and delayed reaction time when used alone and separate from alcohol, the fact that marijuana use appears to increase the risk of drunk driving means that increasing pot use may present even more of a danger on the roads than originally anticipated.

When people use marijuana, they frequently do it in connection with alcohol. Researchers analyzed data collected by the National Alcohol Survey, which surveyed more than 8,600 people age 18 and up throughout the United States. The data was collected between 2005 and 2010, and the majority of people who said they used marijuana indicated that it was used concurrently with alcohol, rather than separately.

Since 2010, there have been substantial changes in societal attitudes that have become more accepting of marijuana use. This means that while 89 percent of people responding to these past surveys said they used alcohol but not marijuana, there are likely many more marijuana and alcohol users since the study was undertaken. This means a greater risk of drunk driving and resulting collisions.

An auto accident lawyer in Janesville can help you to obtain toxicology reports to determine if a driver who caused your collision had used either alcohol or drugs. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.