Marijuana pushes the limits in the inexact science of DUID

A study published in 2015 by Forensic Science International found that THC stays in the blood of chronic users longer than previously thought. Researchers monitored 21 participants who admitted to consuming marijuana heavily over the previous three months. Each participant abstained from the drug over the course of the study. After 24 hours, nine of the participants still had active delta-9-THC levels above 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, meaning they would have been over the legal limit in states with per se limits of 5 nanograms or less, as well as any state with a zero-tolerance policy. Two participants still tested at 5 nanograms more than five days into the study…

In February 2015, the NHTSA released a study that explored crash risk associated with drugs and alcohol. In the executive summary, the NHTSA touted the study as the “largest and most carefully controlled of its kind.” The report ultimately concluded that when alcohol consumption and demographics were controlled, there was no “increase in population-based crash risk associated with THC use.” …

Washington also has 208 police officers across state, city and county agencies that are certified drug recognition experts. Each of them are given three weeks of classroom and field training, during which time they observe participants under the influence of various drugs and learn the typical signs and behaviors associated with each substance, according to Sharpe. For marijuana, officers look for a green tongue, muscle spasms, eyelid flutters, an inability to cross the eyes, and, of course, the distinctive odor…

“Impaired driving is the single largest cause of fatal collisions in Washington,” she added. “It is our number one priority.”

Top Five Contributing Factors in Fatal Collisions

Under influence of alcohol – 133
Crossing over center line –102
Exceeding reasonable safe speed – 95
Exceeding stated speed limit –60
Other – 50

Also according to the Department of Transportation:

-The leading cause of all accidents on state and county roads is exceeding safe reasonable speeds.
-The leading cause of all accidents on city streets is failing to yield the right of way.
-The leading cause of fatal accidents on state and county roads is alcohol impairment.
-The leading cause of fatal accidents on city streets is exceeding stated speed limit.

(8/21/2015) Is Marijuana Causing More Car Crashes in Washington?

The Auto Insurance Center, a car insurance news and information site, sought to answer that question. It compiled data on every fatal car accident in the US recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatal Accident Reporting System from 2009 to 2013.

The data includes driver, passenger, and pedestrian fatalities. The findings, shown below in map form, show what causes the most driving fatalities in every US state…

According to the study, 70% of respondents say they engage in smartphone activities while driving. 61% say they text while driving and 33% say they send emails while driving.

In terms of social media, 27% of drivers enjoy checking Facebook while driving, while 14% check Instagram and Twitter, and 11% check Snapchat.

Other smart phone activities behind the wheel include internet browsing (28%), taking selfies (17%), and video chatting (10%)…

Of those polled, 22% cite addiction as the reason for why they use their phone behind the wheel, and 27% believe they can do it safely while driving…

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