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Is it Legal to Drive After Using Marijuana?

The recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in 18 states across the nation. Simply put, the legal effect is that people can legally smoke marijuana for recreation. That being said, no law permits anyone to drive under the influence of marijuana. This reminder is particularly important on April 20th–known as 4/20–a popular day across the country and around the world for the recreational users of marijuana. Because many marijuana users decide to drive while impaired on this day, April 20th is also Impaired Driving Prevention day. Know that impaired driving–no matter if due to alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs, or lack of sleep–puts everyone at risk. 

Preventing Impaired Driving

It is important to know that if you feel different as a result of using marijuana, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs, then the likelihood of you driving differently is quite high. Impaired driving, no matter what the cause, is both dangerous and against the law. Below is some information on impaired driving on 4/20.

Fast Facts About Marijuana

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA), the psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, can cause cognitive impairment, slow reaction times, and make it harder to keep steady on the road. Getting behind the wheel if you feel a little high, stoned, or buzzed is against the law and can result in a DUI arrest and conviction.

Nevada’s Marijuana Laws

While it is true that marijuana use is legal in the state of Nevada, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. A person is under the influence of marijuana, and therefore can be charged and convicted with a DUI under Nevada law, if his or her use of the substance has impaired the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle or the driver’s blood contains an illegal amount of marijuana. Specifically, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484C.110, prohibits anyone to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle on the road with a controlled substance in their system above the legal amount, including marijuana and marijuana metabolite. 

Marijuana Impaired Driving Statistics

Just because there are DUI laws on the books, it does not mean that people will not get behind the wheel while impaired. The NHTSA reports that:

  • Approximately 20,160 people were killed in car accidents the first half of 2021–an increase of 18.4% when compared to deaths in 2020;
  • The number of drivers who were killed in car accidents and tested for marijuana nearly doubled from 2009 to 2018;
  • A DUI charge can cost an accused an average of $10,000 for attorneys’ fees, court costs, fines, higher insurance rates, lost wages, and more.

If you or someone you know is using marijuana on April 20th–or any other day of the year–you should make the choice of not getting behind the wheel. 

Car Accident Attorneys

Hopefully, the above discussion helps you to understand the dangers of marijuana impaired driving on 4/20 or any other day of the year. If you are hurt in a Las Vegas area accident, speak with the personal injury attorneys at H&P Law. We will fight aggressively to protect your rights and help you to receive the best possible compensation for harm suffered. 

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