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States Lack Consistent 'Driving While Stoned' Measures

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

States may set whatever standards they want to assess marijuana intoxication as there are no studies to provide guidance. Tests often measure blood levels of THC, the main ingredient in marijuana. However, there is no easy way to test, as marijuana is stored in fat cells and is detectable in blood for days or weeks after it is smoked or consumed, depending on individual tolerance. The only two states to fully legalize marijuana have set a limit of five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood.


Some legalization advocates criticize the testing standards as "sober DUI" laws. This is because there is no research to determine how much marijuana impairs drivers.

 

Another limitation to marijuana testing is that the best way to determine marijuana intoxication is through testing a blood sample. Breath tests are not available for the same testing precision. The U.S. Supreme Court also issued a ruling that requires police to get a warrant before testing blood.

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia