As recreational marijuana becomes legal in many states including California the dangers are coming into the spotlight. The biggest concern amongst residents and authorities is the dangers of driving while high on marijuana. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and many are comparing alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol impairment has standards that authorities can use to measure how impaired a driver is. However, that is not yet the case with marijuana. This also makes it difficult for the courts to decide on punishments and if a crime was truly committed. Courts will try to punish drivers how they see fit since there are no set standards to reference. This is why it is imperative to seek counsel from an experienced marijuana accident attorney in Los Angeles who can use the current laws and exceptions to help you obtain the best results possible.
In a recent case of driving while drugged that went to court, the jury was unable to decide if the driver even committed a crime because there were no pre-sent standards to base their decision on. An off-duty valet driver who smokes marijuana for back pain and anxiety was pulled over for driving erratically. His blood test came back positive for THC which he claims to have smoked five hours prior to the incident. After analyzing the test results a drug recognition expert ruled that he was far too impaired to be driving. When the case went to trial 11 jurors voted to acquit the valet driver while one voted to find him guilty. This all stems from the fact that they could not decide if he had even committed a crime, to begin with. Even though the drug recognition expert claimed he was too impaired to drive, there are no laws established that further establish this point. The jurors asked for a standard of impairment but since there isn’t one they choose to acquit the driver.
Even though this case did not result in an accident, there have been reports of other drugged driving incidents resulting in worse outcomes. Californians are asking for standards to be set and for officers to be trained in ways to identify impaired drivers. This will be costly to Los Angeles and the state overall as training can go into the 100s of millions. There will also need to be money set aside for research to even begin establishing an impairment standard for marijuana. In the meantime, however, motorists who do drive while impaired under marijuana will have confusing legal battles to face. You do not have to face these legal troubles alone. Contact Howard Craig Kornberg, an experienced Los Angeles attorney for a consultation where you can discuss your options and build a succession plan for your case. It will be an uphill battle for motorists who are victims of impaired driving and who use the drug until there are some standards and laws set in place.