Both cultural trends and the law have changed in many places regarding cannabis. What never changes is the way marijuana impairs drivers. Scores of teenagers, even those with relatively little driving experience, realize drunk driving is incredibly dangerous. Unfortunately, many Ohio teens don’t fully understand the risks of driving under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana, teens, and impaired driving
Liberty Mutual Insurance partnered with Students Against Destructive Decisions to conduct a survey of teens and parents. The results might frighten those living in areas where marijuana is legal or readily available. One stunning result from the study reveals that roughly one-third of teens and 27% of parents believed that if marijuana is legal for recreational use, it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana.
For decades, significant resources promoted the dangers of drunk driving, raising awareness about how alcohol and driving don’t mix. A similar approach has not occurred with marijuana, so many people do not realize marijuana can impair driving performance the same way alcohol does.
Marijuana and driving dangers
Whether parents or teens understand the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana won’t change THC’s ability to impair performance. Someone under the influence of cannabis might suffer from reaction and perception problems and cause an accident. Erratic driving behavior may change the police’s attention, resulting in impaired driving charges.
Even a first-time DUI offense in Ohio may lead to jail time and fines. Repeat offenders might expect to receive worse penalties, such as spending up to one year in jail. License suspensions become likely when arrested for a DUI, which could affect someone’s livelihood.
DUI charges might be weaker than the defendant realizes. A defense strategy could lead to an outcome favorable to the accused.
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