You shouldn’t be driving under the influence of alcohol at all. However, if you choose to inhale marijuana with your drinks, then your risks of being involved in a drunk driving accident are automatically much higher.
According to a new study, motorists, who smoke marijuana and drink alcohol simultaneously, are twice as likely to drive under the influence of alcohol, compared to those who simply drink alcohol on its own. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 18 percent of car accident fatalities every year are linked to the use of drugs like marijuana and cocaine. Very often, those drugs are consumed along with alcohol. Researchers are warning that the increased availability of marijuana and the easing of restrictions on marijuana are a predictor of doom. Many people may not understand that combining marijuana and alcohol significantly impairs their ability to drive safely.
The study also points to the role of marijuana in causing accident fatalities. In states that have medical marijuana laws, more people are driving under the influence of these drugs, increasing their risk of an accident. The number of fatalities involving drivers with marijuana in their system is on the increase, and that trend could possibly spike if more states jump on the marijuana legalization wagon.
The most recent study establishes an association between an alcohol-pot combination and a higher risk of dangerous practices, including drunk driving. The researchers found the group that admitted using both marijuana and alcohol were much more likely to use both of these in combination, rather than separately. That seems to increase the potency of both the drugs as well as the alcohol, and increases the risk of dangerous behaviors and poor decision making.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, persons who used marijuana and alcohol simultaneously are much more likely to be male, a category of drivers that is already at a much higher risk of drunk driving accidents. Simultaneous users are also more likely to drink very heavily, compared to those people who drink only alcohol, or who use alcohol and pot separately.
Even as we seem to be winning the war on drunk driving, a new war is looming on the horizon. The number of drugged driving fatalities is on the increase, and law makers need to make much more practical and effective laws that focus on educating marijuana users about the dangers of such use while driving.
The Indiana car accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy are dedicated to the representation of injured victims of accidents across Indiana.