DUI Marijuana 11 Times More Dangerous than DUI Alcohol

Researchers from Columbia University recently reported that if a person is under the influence of alcohol, their chances of being involved in an accident are 13 times greater than a normal sober driver.  If the driver is under the influence of marijuana, the chances of an accident increase by 24 fold.[i]

This “research,” and the corresponding publicity, come as no surprise.  We have been predicting for a long time that as drunk driving arrests continue to decline politicians will be looking for new ways to replace the lost revenue; and the plan is to accomplish this with more arrests for intoxicated driving where the intoxication is due to drug consumption.

To make way for this ongoing law enforcement prerogative, “research” is conducted and then publicized.  Through repeated exposure, eventually, the public gets the message; drugged driving is a public safety problem and drugged drivers are a menace. The government’s goal?  To make sure that all arrests results in conviction; because if there is no conviction then there is no income for the government. In fact there’s a net loss, since all the effort and expense involved in making the arrest has resulted in no financial return.

Since marijuana is the most commonly used illicit or near illicit drug, it makes sense to begin the “research” there.  It would be most interesting to learn who funded this research and for what purpose?  It would also be interesting to learn how the tests for marijuana were done?  Did the researchers test for active THC or just a metabolite of THC?  A metabolite only shows prior consumption whereas active THC might show intoxication.  Also, what criteria were used to determine if the marijuana actually contributed to the accident?  Was there actual causation, or did the researchers merely uncover meaningless correlation?

Look to see an ever increasing number of researchers performing research of questionable scientific integrity regarding drugged driving.  Such articles give apparent authority to the corresponding increase in the publicity surrounding the dangers posed by drivers under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

In Michigan there has already been a dramatic increase in the numbers of arrests for driving under the influence of marijuana.  Michigan calls the crime OWI, which is the same acronym used for an alcohol case.  In part this is because in Michigan a conviction for OWI marijuana carries exactly the same consequences as OWI alcohol.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana in Michigan, then contact the Barone Defense Firm for your FREE case evaluation.

[i] http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2014/02/04/study-fatal-car-crashes-involving-marijuana-have-tripled/

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Patrick T. Barone

Founding Partner and CEO at Barone Defense Firm
The Founding Partner and CEO of the Barone Defense Firm, Mr. Barone has written two books and 100s of articles on the subject of DUI defense and trial practice. He is an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he teaches a cutting-edge class on the practice of DUI defense. He is a highly sought after speaker for bar association meetings and legal education seminars throughout the country. He is also on the Faculty of the National College for DUI Defense. And, because his colleagues consistently give him top reviews, Mr. Barone has an “AV” (highest) rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and since 2009 has been included in the highly selective US News & World Report’s America’s Best Lawyers while The Barone Defense Firm appears in their companion America’s Best Law Firms. He has been rated “Seriously Outstanding” by SuperLawyers, rated “Outstanding/10.0” by AVVO and has recently been appointed to the advisory board for the Michigan edition of Leading Lawyers Magazine.
1 comment… add one
  • James K S February 21, 2014, 10:17 pm

    If stoned driving was really a problem, it would be apparent by now, given that it has been widely and fairly openly used for years, especially in states such as California that allow medical marijuana. There’s zero evidence or statistics showing that traffic accidents/fatalities have increased in states that allow medical marijuana. As the story states, there is no research that shows pot diminishes driving skills. Performance on FST’s means little or nothing–all that measures is whether you can stand on one leg or take nine steps heel-to-toe, neither of which has anything to do with safe driving.


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