With the advent of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington increased attention is being paid to the issue of stoned driving. While it remains illegal to drive while stoned in every state in the union, including Michigan, clear scientific proof that stoned driving is dangerous remains elusive.
This is because there are studies on both sides of the issue. Some seem to show that mixing pot and driving is a dangerous combination, while others seem to show no effect, and maybe even that stoned drivers are less likely to be involved in a crash. According to the Guardian on-line:
A Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation study used the roadside survey and data from nine states that test more than 80% of drivers killed in crashes. When adjusted for alcohol and driver demographics, the study found that otherwise sober drivers who tested positive for marijuana were slightly less likely to have been involved in a crash than drivers who tested negative for all drugs.
As might be expected, driving with a combination of drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, does synergistically increase the chances of a crash. The same is true for drivers that have little experience with driving while stoned.
The bottom line though is that if you want to be sure not to run afoul of the law, don’t drive while stoned! In Michigan, a conviction for OWI-drugs / marijuana carries with it up to 93 days and jail and a $100-$500 dollar fine. Also, your driver license will be suspended for 30 days, and then restricted for the following 150 days.
This is because OWI-drugs / marijuana is in the same vehicle code and essentially violates the same law as driving while drunk. Stoned driving can be proved one of two ways by the state, either by showing that your ability to operate a car was substantially lessened due to the smoking of marijuana, or if you don’t have a medical marijuana card, by showing that you have any amount of THC in your blood at the time of the driving.
For the “zero-tolerance” any amount part of the law, keep in mind that, according to the Guardian:
A marijuana high generally peaks within a half hour and dissipates within three hours, but THC can linger for days in the bodies of habitual smokers.
If you have been charged in Michigan with driving under the influence of marijuana, then call the Barone Defense Firm for your FREE no obligation case review.