California officials are warning against an increase in the number of motorists driving under the influence of drugs after a recent study by the Office of Traffic Safety found that the number of people driving under the influence of drugs is actually higher than the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol.
The California Office of Traffic Safety surveyed more than 1,300 motorists. Their breath as well as saliva samples were tested at roadside locations. The saliva was tested for alcohol and illegal drugs, THC, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety survey, approximately 14% of the drivers tested positive for drugs in their system, compared to 7.3% of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. The numbers included both illegal as well as prescription drugs.
Car accident attorneys in California have been aware of the growing problem of drugged driving in the state and around the country. There has been an increase in the number of people driving with illegal drugs in their system, like marijuana. In fact, marijuana is the most frequent drug associated with drugged driving, and more than 7% of drivers in the Office of Traffic Safety study had marijuana in the system.
Drugged driving is dangerous because there are very few laws that govern the amount of drugs a person can have in the system while driving. States like California that have medical marijuana laws that allow the use of marijuana for health purposes, are especially at risk for drugged driving. While these medical marijuana laws have been passed, they have not been accompanied by corresponding laws that limit the amount of marijuana that a person can have in his system while driving.
Further, it is very difficult to tell exactly how many drivers involved in fatal accidents have drugs in their system, because of inadequate testing procedures. For instance, a person may be driving under the inference of both alcohol and drugs. Besides, some drugs remain in the system for a much longer time than others.
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