Loading...
Marijuana

Marijuana Driving, Other Drug-Based DUIs on the Increase in California: Authorities Plan to Strike Back

Comments (0)

By

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM
click to enlarge DAVE 77459
  • Dave 77459

While some studies have suggested marijuana-smoking drivers might be safer drivers, California officials this week stated that "drugged driving" fatalities in the state have been on the rise in recent years.

The state Office of Traffic Safety states (PDF) that "30 percent of all drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in California in 2010 tested positive for legal and/or illegal drugs, a percentage that has been increasing since 2006."

Not only that, but ...

... the office notes that in fall of 2010 more people were found with marijuana in their systems (8.4 percent of the drivers contacted) than alcohol (7.6 percent) at nighttime roadside surveys conducted in six California cities.

Come to think of it, marijuana is pretty easy to get in contemporary Los Angeles, the nation's pot-shop capital.

The problem for cops is that it's not as easy to trace as alcohol. While you might fail a field sobriety test because you're stoned, no breathalyzer is going to detect marijuana in your system. And even if such detection were possible, there's no standardized schedule of intoxication like like there is with alcohol's blood-alcohol levels.

The office admits as much:

Drug-impaired driving is often under-reported and under-recognized and toxicology testing is expensive. Additionally, because there is no established impairment level for drugs, prosecuting drug impaired driving cases can be difficult.

The bad news for you stoners is that this could change:

OTS announced last month that Sacramento and Orange Counties were awarded federal funding to purchase state-of-the-art drug testing equipment. District Attorney Offices in eight counties are being funded to create special "vertical prosecution" teams that will follow drug-impaired driving cases from arrest through trial.

Awesome.

So remember, friends don't let friends get retarded behind the wheel.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content

Related

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.