It’s a question that seems to be coming up a lot lately – what should the state of Michigan do about potential drugged driving cases now that recreational marijuana is legal? It’s something that state officials have recognized is an issue, and they’re trying to figure out what to do about it. But is setting some kind of impairment limit, the way we did with alcohol, the right answer? One recent study says no. Before we move on, always remember that possessing marijuana is still a federal crime. Now let’s move ahead with our discussion of drugged driving here in Michigan.
The Safety Commision says it isn’t possible to measure weed like we measure alcohol.
According to Michigan’s Impaired Driving Safety Commision, pot isn’t like alcohol in the human system, and can’t be measured in the same way. When a BAC was set for alcohol, it was because there is a definite way to measure impairment based on how much alcohol is present in a person’s blood. For that reason, it’s possible to set specific blood alcohol content limits for drivers, ie: .07 is still okay, but .08 is officially too much alcohol.
Booze and weed can’t be measured using the same yardstick.
Marijuana, however, doesn’t work the same way when it’s in the human body. You can’t measure how high someone is based on how much weed they’ve smoked or ingested. It simply doesn’t work that way. There are too many factors and variables that affect how affected a person is by marijuana, because while marijuana definitely impairs critical driving skills, the blood level doesn’t correlate with impairment levels.
Why can’t we measure how high a person is with a test?
According to the Impaired Driving Safety Commision, one of the reasons why it’s so hard to measure the level of impairment based on blood content levels of weed, is because initial THC levels peak and then drop quickly. However the impairment happens more slowly, and tends to build over time, peaking later. Also, impairment levels are different from person to person. People who don’t get high often will be more affected that those who use pot often, even although the quantity remains the same. And of course remember that THC is not water soluble like alcohol is. That means that THC is stored in fat cells and remains in the human body longer than alcohol does.
So how can cops figure out if you’re too high to drive?
In a recent interview about the issue of marijuana sobriety testing, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker explained why cops would have to rely on tried and true methods for figuring out if someone was under the influence of weed while driving. “The old days of alcohol before we had a breath test, you just had to base your case on the driving, field sobrieties, all of the facts and circumstances that witnesses could see at that point and time.”
Michigan law doesn’t allow anyone to drive under the influence of drugs.
Current Michigan law says that you aren’t allowed to drive if you’re under the influence of ANY quantity of drugs in your system. Whether it’s one hit off a bowl, or six joints, you could be facing a drugged driving charge. That also means that you cannot operate under the influence of legally prescribed drugs if they impair your ability to drive. Our DUI defense attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience successfully representing people facing any type of drugged driving charges. You have a lot on the line, and we’re ready to give you some peace of mind. Call 866 766 5245 ( 1 866 7NoJail) to get a warrior on your team, from the experts who can make a difference.