Were you injured by a Florida driver who was high on marijuana?
It can be challenging to keep track of the laws regulating marijuana, especially since the laws are constantly changing, laws vary from state to state, and medical marijuana was recently just legalized in Florida in 2016. All across the US, laws regulating marijuana are nearly impossible to keep up with; in some states marijuana is illegal, in some it’s legal for medical purposes, and in others it is legal for recreational use. One thing is certain, however: driving while under the influence of marijuana is ALWAYS illegal in Florida. Please view FindLaw’s article to obtain extensive information regarding the laws that govern marijuana use in Florida.
Florida’s Driving While High Campaign: “Drive Baked, Get Busted”
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) campaign “Drive Baked, Get Busted” aims to inform Floridians about the risks of impaired driving and to educate them regarding the laws that regulate impaired driving.
FHSMV’s website outlines five indications of marijuana impairment that make driving while high so dangerous. Those 5 impairments are:
- Slowed reaction time
- Limited short-term memory functions
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Weakened concentration
- Difficulty perceiving time and distance
It isn’t difficult to see why it is dangerous and risky to drive while high from marijuana. Additionally, this hindered driving only becomes more risky when people combine it with other risky situations such as: texting and driving, driving a motorcycle as a beginner, driving when the weather is risky, driving while drowsy, driving on a road with semi-trucks, driving if you have both smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol, and more.
FHSMV’s website explains that people who have been driving while impaired by marijuana are subject to the same penalties as if they were driving while being impaired by alcohol, meaning that the penalties can include: costly fines, license revocation, and/or jail time.
At The Eberst Law Firm, we hope that you will take this opportunity to educate yourself about the risks and legal penalties associated with driving while under the influence of marijuana, both for your own knowledge and so you are prepared in the event that you are involved in an auto accident with a marijuana-influenced driver. If you notice signs that the driver is under the influence, such as seeing that they have bloodshot eyes and/or they or their car smells like marijuana, make sure that the responding police officer is aware so that they include their observations in the police report.
Don’t Let Anyone Fool You: Drugged Driving is Always Dangerous
CBS News recently published an article stating that highway statistics indicate that the number of drivers testing positive for pot has increased drastically over the years, but they also claim that driving under the influence of article remains a “far more deadly threat”. Articles like this, though meant to be helpful, can sometimes also be misleading as they can cause people to minimize the potential risks of marijuana by comparing it to the dangerous risks associated with driving while under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, since the number of drivers with marijuana in their system has been increasing over the years, this apparently growing phenomenon needs further testing before jumping to conclusions.
Kyle Clark, project manager of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, contributed to a USA Today article and stated, “during the holiday season we see an increase in lives devastated due to motor vehicle fatalities that involve not only drunk driving, but drugged driving as well”. He advises that some factors that contribute to the increased rates of driving while under the influence of marijuana are: the increase in general usage, the lack of testing comparable to an alcohol breathalyzer to see if someone is under the influence of marijuana, and a disturbing unawareness among Americans regarding the dangers of driving high.
Additionally, cannabis use is also an enormous problem amongst semi-truck drivers. Please see our article, “Drug Use Truck Accidents” to educate yourself on this topic.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm if you have been Injured by a Driver who was High
If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with someone who is under the influence of marijuana, please contact our office immediately at 772-225-4900 or by using our online contact form for a free consultation. The laws governing marijuana use are changing constantly, and we pride ourselves on staying up to date with the changing laws so that we can best serve our clients and obtain substantial settlements for them. We look forward to being able to assist you during this difficult time.