Earlier this year, Florida repealed its ban on smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes. This may mean that more people will be using smokable marijuana than before the repeal. While this might not seem like such a big deal to some, when it comes to operating an automobile, a drugged driver can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver.
A report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles states that, in 2018, over 420 individuals lost their lives in crashes involving marijuana. Driving while high is a serious issue. But, detecting whether a motorist was high when a crash occurred is difficult, as the THC found in marijuana can remain in a person’s system long after the high has worn off.
Up until now Florida did not collect data specifically on crashes involving marijuana. Now that Floridians may be able to legally smoke marijuana under certain circumstances, some are concerned that this will put more drugged drivers on Florida roads. DHSMV began tracking data on motor vehicle accidents involving marijuana last year. According to a recent report, DHSMV is still working with police departments across the state to make sure their data is accurate.
As this shows, drugged driving can result in car accidents that can injure or kill innocent people. Some may be familiar with the dangers of drunk driving, but drug use can also impair a person to the point that they cause a crash. Driving while high is a breach of a motorist’s duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. If that breach causes another person to suffer injuries, the victim may be able to pursue a personal injury claim based on negligence.