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AAA survey shows millions of Americas drive while high

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2019 | DUI Defense |

A whopping 70 percent of Americans don’t think drivers who are high on marijuana will be caught by police.

That’s according to a new survey published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which showed that an estimated 14.8 million people drove within one hour of using marijuana over the past month.

The foundation said marijuana users who are high while driving are about two times more likely to crash than non-impaired drivers.

“Marijuana can significantly alter reaction times and impair a driver’s judgment. Yet, many drivers don’t consider marijuana-impaired driving as risky as other behaviors like driving drunk or talking on the phone while driving,” said the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “It is important for everyone to understand that driving after recently using marijuana can put themselves and others at risk.”

In fact, 7% of respondents in the survey said they thought it was OK to drive after recent use of marijuana, while only 1.6% said they approved of drinking and driving and 3% said it was acceptable to use prescription drugs and drive.

Among the respondents, 14% of millennials are most likely to say they drove within 60 minutes of marijuana use in the past 30 days, followed by Generation Z with 10%.

“It’s time to face the facts. Any driver who gets behind the wheel high can be arrested and prosecuted,” said the AAA director of traffic safety and advocacy. “Law enforcement officials are getting more sophisticated in their methods for identifying marijuana-impaired drivers and the consequences are not worth the risk.”

That’s especially true in North Carolina, where law enforcement agencies are key components of NC Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate deaths and injuries on the roads statewide.

Driving while impaired is a serious offense and not one to be taken lightly. Anyone arrested on that charge in North Carolina should contact an attorney immediately.