One 2012 study cited in the Psychopharmacology
journal maintains, only 30% of folks who smoked THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, failed the so-called DUI field sobriety tests or FST’s, San Diego DUI attorneys
Whether or not a driver is impaired or under the influence
for purposes of DUI partly depends on whether the driver is used to being stoned, say San Diego California DUI lawyers.
An inexperienced alcohol drinker or a lifetime alcoholic may both have difficulty standing on 1 foot. However, a driver who just smoked his first joint vs. the driver who smokes marijuana 5 times per week presents a different question. And the answer is the stoner may be more tolerant. In a 2005 study
, 50 percent of the less frequent smokers failed the field test.
A 2007 NHTSA study
says 12% of the drivers randomly stopped on American highways on Friday and Saturday nights had been drinking. 6% of the drivers tested positive for marijuana — a number that is likely to go up with increased availability. Read more about the dangers of drugged driving.
“We’ve done phone surveys, and we’re hearing that a lot of people think D.U.I. laws don’t apply to marijuana,” said Glenn Davis, highway safety manager at the Department of Transportation in Colorado, where recreational marijuana use became legal on Jan. 1
. “And there’s always somebody who says, ‘I drive better while high.’ ”
The difference in risk between marijuana and alcohol can probably be explained by two things, say Dr. Huestis and Dr. Romano in a recent New York Times article. First, stoned drivers drive differently from drunk DUI drivers, and they have different deficits. Drunk DUI drivers tend to drive faster than normal and to overestimate their skills, studies have shown; the opposite is true for stoned drivers.