Monday, April 20, 2015
Stoned Drivers Alcohol Interlocks
I may get permission from my friend to disclose more details about his case, but there has to be more than one person in Washington who has to blow into a machine that checks for alcohol before their car will start, and they have to do this because they were caught with marijuana in their system.
I personally believe that marijuana does not cause impairment to a degree that would be a concern for road safety, and in many cases cannabis consumers are safer drivers than non-consumers.
With that out of the way, why are Washingtonians being punished with alcohol detection systems in their car after driving stoned?
This makes no sense.
Here is an article from Guardian Interlock.
Time For An Interlock Device Article
The article mentions:
driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime just like driving under the influence of alcohol, and you could be subject to the same penalties including an interlock device installation.
But leaves out the part about how the device installed in the vehicles of folks caught driving stoned do not have the ability to check the driver's ng/ml level of THC in blood!
The article also says:
One of the reasons for the increase may be that people don’t understand how there is no distinction in Washington between drinking and driving and inhaling marijuana and driving. The definition of driving under the influence includes alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, and the penalty for driving high in Washington is a minimum of one day in jail, one-year probation, and an ignition interlock device installation in any vehicle you drive.
Apparently there is also no distinction in Washington between whether or not the detection equipment installed in offenders' cars even has the ability to detect the offending substance.
This situation in Washington state is ridiculous.
For many, getting out of bed in the morning is very hard because of pain, seizures, spasticity, etc.
Once these folks have some cannabis, they regain functionality. They can get up, walk out the door, rake the yard, and drive the car, finally, now that they are controlling their symptoms with cannabis.
Marijuana DUI really shouldn't exist, but if we are going to force stoned drivers to install ignition interlocks, the interlocks should be able to check for marijuana.
Here is a graph that shows certain amounts of cannabis can actually reduce your chances of being involved in a crash.