Driving under the influence of cannabis is dangerous. This is a fact that pot lovers need to refrain if they are to avoid car accidents that can end the life of others or their own. If you live in a state that allows the use of cannabis, you need to understand the laws that govern its use. Furthermore, understanding its effect on your driving skills is also important if you are to remain safe when on the road.
So how does marijuana use affect your driving?
It slows down reaction time
THC which is found in marijuana impairs a person’s judgment as well as memory making it hard to make well-timed decisions. Body movement is also affected making it hard to respond to sudden situations in good time when driving. It is common to see drivers less attentive on the road especially if they use the drug occasionally as compared to more regular users. Also, your compromised memory makes recollection of past driving experiences harder, making it hard to refer to them when behind the wheel.
It makes you make risky decisions
When the amount of THC present in cannabis is very high in a person’s blood, making decisions can be hard. Drivers under the influence of this drug are likely to be found driving in the wrong lane or even going in the opposite direction while on the road. Over speeding and overtaking is also quite common when marijuana has been used which puts your life in danger, as well as that of those that you are carrying in the vehicle.
It’s dangerous when combined with alcohol
Combining the use of cannabis with alcohol impairs your ability to drive well. Alcohol slows down the working of the nervous system which in turn delays the functioning of the brain. When this happens, body coordination and processing of information is slowed down increasing the chances of getting into an accident. The addition of marijuana into the equation is usually a disaster in waiting.
It can land you in jail
Driving when high from marijuana is a criminal offense that can earn you many years behind bars. It does not matter whether you were taking pot for recreational or medical reasons; you can be arrested and prosecuted. In some states, police conduct several screening tests on the urine, saliva or blood of individuals suspected of taking the drug and charge them if the results are positive. The jail term can range from months to years depending on the state and actions done when driving under the influence. You could also lose your driving license or have it suspended for some time.
The effects of cannabis are quite strong within the first hour of use making it easier to get into an accident. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid driving for a few hours until you are stable enough to drive or get a taxi to take you home. Also, the probability of getting pulled over and arrested by police is quite high when driving under the influence as most police officers are familiar with signs of cannabis use. Bottom-line: don’t smoke and drive!