Does being stoned cause driving impairment?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2018 | drug charges

Recreational marijuana may not be currently legal in Missouri, but that doesn’t mean residents refrain from using cannabis. Many people reason that they won’t face drug penalties if they don’t get caught. However, you may wonder if you can be arrested on suspicion of driving while high in Missouri – and whether using pot can impair your driving skills and contribute to an accident.

In a Gallup poll, 70 percent of people said they didn’t believe it was a serious safety problem to drive while high, according to LiveScience, especially when compared to the majority of people who believe drunk driving is dangerous. This doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to get behind the wheel stoned, however. A significant review of 60 studies, presented at the International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, revealed that cannabis does impair a driver’s coordination, visual function, tracking and attention.

You should also know that you might face stoned driving penalties even if you weren’t high when you were pulled over. THC, the chemical that causes a high, can stay in your bloodstream for days after intoxication has worn off. As you might imagine, you could be charged with a DUI if THC is in your bloodstream during a sobriety blood test. You may also face drug charges, since there are laws against marijuana use in Missouri.

Legal cannabis is currently a highly debated topic, so it may be necessary to seek legal counsel if you are charged with driving while high or possessing marijuana. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.