Car Accidents & Colorado's Marijuana Laws

Colorado legalized the use of recreational marijuana back in 2012 and shops began selling it like beer, wine, and other alcohol two years later. What didn’t change, however, was the fact that it’s still against the law to drive while under the influence of this drug. This is largely due to the fact that intoxicated drivers often show signs similar to that of alcohol intoxication like delayed reaction, varying speeds, and inability to stay in a lane.

Marijuana and Car Accidents

Because recreational marijuana is just now becoming legal in several other states across the country, it’s hard to tell what kind of an influence it’s going to have over car accident rates. Despite the fact that we have a few years of data to analyze, it’s still difficult to accurately connect a relationship between THC intoxication and rising car accident rates, however it’s expected that this relationship will likely be established before too long.

A large reason for this is the fact that THC, the intoxicating chemical in marijuana, can stay in the blood stream for far longer than it actually has an intoxicating effect, which can lead to false positives in tests. Why is that so important? Because marijuana intoxication levels often play a huge role in assigning fault in car accidents.

Drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles when they are in a good and unencumbered mental state to preserve the safety of those around them. Driving while intoxicated in any way neglects that duty, and thus increases the chances of an accident. It also significantly increases the chances that a simple mistake could lead to a potentially devastating accident that they’ll be held responsible for.

Marijuana Intoxication & Your Case

If you have been hurt in a car accident and suspect that the other driver was under the influence of marijuana, you and your attorney may be able to use that to prove they were at fault and recover damages for the losses you have sustained. In some instances, you may even be able to request punitive damages, which are essentially financial damages that are designed to act as a punishment in order to dissuade the other party from partaking in that behavior again.

It’s crucial that you consult with a Denver car accident attorney to learn more about your options and get qualified counsel to guide you through your case. Personal injury matters, particularly car accidents, are complex because insurance companies get involved and are constantly on the lookout to save themselves money however possible. It’s not advised you try to take on your case alone, particularly if you believe the other driver may have been intoxicated by marijuana.

For more information, call Gerash Steiner, P.C. today at (303) 732-5048 and request a case evaluation to start learning more about your options.

Categories: Personal Injury