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Chester County DUI Arrests based on Marijuana Use

Posted on October 2nd, 2015

This is an update from a previous article about MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who have been for years advocating to eradicate Drunk and drugged Driving across the country and has lobbied Legislatures and Congress extensively to increasingly criminalize impaired Driving.  A recent news article may shed some light on the claims made by the organization.

A new report was recently issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit organization, stated that impaired drivers are almost equally as likely to be impaired by drugs as alcohol.  The report issued by GHSA, “Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for What States Can Do,” cites crash data and surveys showing a steady increase in driving under the influence of drugs, even as drunken driving rates continue to fall.

James Hedlund, a retired executive with the federal National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports, “I don’t think drugged driving has received nearly the attention that drunk driving has received.”

According to a Pittsburgh Post Gazetter article, Hedlund has called for better data and analysis of this issue. While Hedlund feels the data does show that Marijuana impairs psychomotor skills, lane tracking, and cognitive function, it is less clear the role it plays in contributing to car accidents.  This has become even more so important because marijuana is being decriminalized in more places than ever before.

Using the data provided in the report regarding fatal crashes, it said nearly 40 percent of the victims who were tested had drugs in their system.  Of the 40 percent, one-third of those people tested positive for marijuana.

The report also had misleading components to it. The data had no distinction between THC and metabolites – THC is the active ingredient in Marijuana that affects your motor skills and metabolite is what remains in your body after it has processed the drugs. This metabolite remains in your blood long after the effects of Marijuana have left your system. Using a drug like marijuana, people will not feel any side effects of the use 20 days later, but in Pennsylvania the amount of metabolite required to for a DUI is so low, that a driver who smokes Marijuana on the 1st day of the month can be found guilty of DUI on the 30th day of the month.

The Pennsylvania State Police have certainly been ramping up their enforcement efforts.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Have you been charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs?  Call Ciccarelli Law  Offices today for a free case evaluation. Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers can answer any questions you may have, (610) 692-8700.