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Can You Drive After Using Cannabis?

Marijuana and alcohol intoxication are very different and arguably, alcohol causes a person to become significantly more impaired than cannabis. However, that isn’t to say that those who use cannabis are safe behind the wheel. 

Because marijuana legalization is still in its early stages, the regulations governing its use before driving and what is and isn’t legal are still a bit hazy. Keep reading to learn more.

THC Content In Blood May Not Indicate Intoxication Says the National Institute of Justice 

According to a research paper published on April 5, 2021, by the National Institute of Justice, a person’s THC levels are an untrustworthy marker to determine cannabis intoxication for the purpose of DWI. 

Per the National Institute of Justice, there’s not enough evidence to correlate a particular THC level with intoxicated driving, making cannabis per se legislation hotly debated and difficult to penalize. This renders standard field sobriety tests or THC testing mostly ineffectual when used to evaluate individuals suspected of being under the influence of marijuana when driving.

Field Sobriety Tests for Marijuana Use  

Traditional field sobriety tests are frequently administered to drivers suspected of marijuana intoxication, just as they do for drivers believed to be under the influence of alcohol. The state will try to prove that the driver was intoxicated or impaired, or otherwise unable to safely operate a vehicle. Police will look for issues like slurred speech, stumbling, and nystagmus during a roadside sobriety test. 

Safe Driving Skills From the NIJ 

According to research conducted by the NIJ, the following skills may be more reliable predictors of whether or not an individual suspected of cannabis impairment can drive safely: 

  • Coordination and balance
  • Coordination and balance Ability to remember and follow directions 
  • Ability to make rapid and accurate decisions
  • No problems with movement

Marijuana, according to the findings, has no effect on the parts of the brain responsible for these key skills, at least not how alcohol can. The report suggests that drivers with high levels of THC in their system aren’t always incapacitated behind the wheel. 

Call Mark S. Cossuto, Esq. Today for a Consultation 

Don’t hesitate to get experienced legal help as soon as possible after being charged with intoxicated driving. Whether you were accused of alcohol or drug impairment, we can help. Call Mark S. Cossuto, Esq. today for a consultation by dialing (718) 852-8047 or toll-free at (800) 609-4545.