Marijuana-Related Car Accidents in California

As of January 1, 2018, California residents will be able to purchase marijuana for recreational use. This means that it will no longer be against state law for Californians to have a small amount of marijuana in their possession for personal use. Of course, marijuana remains heavily regulated by the government.

It is undisputed, however, that marijuana has an effect on the motor skills of those who use it. Under California Vehicle Code section 23152, it is against the law for anyone “who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.” This includes marijuana. Of course, it may not be easy to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana because the indicators of intoxication are not necessarily as readily identifiable as alcohol intoxication.

Marijuana, like alcohol, remains in a driver’s system for some time after ingestion, and it can continue to affect the motor skills of a driver for many hours after consumption. Unlike alcohol, however, there is no convenient method for a driver to determine if they are still under the effects of marijuana. Thus, uninitiated consumers of marijuana may find themselves getting behind the wheel of a car when they are still under the drug’s influence, creating a serious risk of causing a California drugged driving accident.

CHP Officer Killed by Intoxicated Driver

Late last month, a California Highway Patrol officer was killed when he was struck by a driver authorities believe to have been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, two CHP officers were working stationed on Interstate 880 on Christmas Eve, monitoring the highway for suspected drunk drivers, when a driver veered off the highway and crashed into the back of the officers’ car.

The officer in the driver’s seat survived the collision with minor injuries, but the passenger-side officer sustained fatal injuries. Authorities told reporters that the other vehicle was traveling so fast that it crushed the officers’ SUV to the size of a small compact car.

The driver of the other vehicle was also seriously injured and was taken to the hospital. Authorities believe that the man was on his way home from a Christmas party where he “obviously had too much to drink and too much to smoke.” The blood-test results are still outstanding, and the accident remains under investigation. Depending on the results, the driver will likely face serious felony charges.

Have You Been a Victim of Drunk or Drugged Driving?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a California car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Southern California drugged driving accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm have extensive experience holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions. We represent victims in all California car accident cases, including those caused by drugged driving and drunk driving. Call 866-422-7222 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Southern California personal injury attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Charter Bus Full of Employees Crashes on the Way to Holiday Party, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2017

Third-Party Workers’ Compensation Claims in California, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, December 26, 2017

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