Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to drink and drive. Now, a new study shows that drivers who use both alcohol and drugs — either together or separately — are much more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors behind the wheel than other drivers.
The survey results, first published in the Transportation Research Record, relied on self-reported data from 2,700 U.S. drivers who acknowledged using both alcohol and cannabis within the past 30 days.
According to the findings, drivers who reported using both substances were more likely to drive under the influence than those who drink alcohol but do not use marijuana.
In addition, motorists who admitted to co-using alcohol and cannabis reported engaging in dangerous driving behaviors more often than those who drank only alcohol. For example:
- Speeding (55%) vs. alcohol only (35%)
- Aggressive driving (52%) vs. alcohol only (28%)
- Running red lights (48%) vs. alcohol only (32%)
- Texting (40%) vs. alcohol only (21%)
Is Marijuana Legal in Michigan?
Marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes in Michigan in 2018. It is legal for people aged 21 and up to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public and cultivate it at home. However, like alcohol, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. It’s also against the law for drivers and passengers to consume it in a car, even if it’s parked.
There’s good reason for the laws prohibiting marijuana use while driving. Marijuana has similar physiological effects on the body as alcohol. It can slow reaction times, relax inhibitions, and interfere with a person’s judgment. Also, like alcohol, weed affects every person differently.
According to the most current report from the Michigan Impaired Driving Commission, the number of drug-involved and fatal crashes increased steadily over a recent five-year period. Though chemical test results from drivers involved in the collisions were not available for every crash, the statistics for those who did receive testing showed the presence of cannabinoids in 70 percent of drivers. In addition, positive test results for cannabinoids more than doubled over the same five-year period in Michigan.
An Impaired Driver Hit Me — Now What?
There’s no excuse for driving under the influence. In Michigan, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for drivers is 0.08. There’s a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use behind the wheel, meaning that detection of any amount of THC — the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana — in a driver is considered drugged driving.
People who impaired drivers hurt may be entitled to compensation for their injuries under Michigan’s personal injury laws. Compensation may come through the injured person’s no-fault auto insurance benefits or, if the injuries meet the state’s serious injury threshold, through a claim against the impaired driver’s insurance company. A car accident lawyer can review your case and explain what options are available to you.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Christensen Law Today
Drunk and drugged driving accidents can result in some of the worst injuries. If an impaired driver in Michigan has hurt you, reach out to a car accident lawyer at Christensen Law today. Our proven legal team has decades of experience helping injured people recover maximum compensation after being hurt through no fault of their own.
Call or contact us for a free consultation.