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Claude Wyle
Claude Wyle
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DUI Accident Attorney Recognizes the Prospect of Marijuana DUIs with the Legalization of Marijuana

6 comments

While Proposition 19’s attempt to legalize marijuana failed in California, the movement is still working to achieve that goal.

The legalization movement will probably bring the proposition back in 2012, and the proponents have learned from the mistakes some things they need to change, according to this article in the Digital Journal.

With medical marijuana already legal in California, the potential for for Marijuana DUI accidents is substantially increased.

California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) Driving a car under the influence of drugs is already prohibited in California. Section 23152(a) of the Vehicle Code makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while impaired: – It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

However, courts have stated: "[T]o be guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a), the … drug(s) must have so far affected the nervous system, the brain, or muscles [of the individual] as to impair to an appreciable degree the ability to operate a vehicle in a manner like that of an ordinarily prudent and cautious person in full possession of his faculties."

As a Bay Area Auto Accident Lawyer, I take DUI cases seriously since they are a leading cause of serious injuries from auto and truck accidents. Alcohol is not the only substance to blame for intoxication. Drivers under the influence of any drug–alcohol and marijuana included–cause accidents responsible for serious injuries as head injury, back injury, broken bones and death.

6 Comments

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  1. D.J. Gold says:
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    Dear Mr. Wyle,

    If you are so serious regarding limiting DUI’s how would you feel about LOWERING the drinking age to 18. This would certainly help lower the number of DUI’s in college students if this law were proposed in a certain matter. At my school, The University at Albany, NY, as well as countless other Universities, all of the students who drink go “Downtown” and have to find a ride home when they are already drunk and underage. Many rapes, crimes, murders etc. have happened considering a drunk teenagers susceptibility at this time. Additionally, I am certain that some of these students make the unfortunate choice to drive drunk at least once in their life when faced by the following situation, and the rest of their lives may be ruined. If the drinking age were to remain 21, but be lowered to 18 only on college campuses that apply and receive a special permit to host drinking events in which they may charge for all beverages, student drinking would be much more tightly-regulated, safer, result in an increase of profit’s for the school as well as the state (through tax), and potentially increase high school students desire to pursue an education at a four-year university, thus, instilling higher competitiveness overall nationally and worldwide (rather than choosing two-year universities or no higher education). I have been in contact with M.A.D.D. of N.Y. regarding my idea and was wondering your opinion. They believe that my idea should not take effect because any alcohol to an UNDER 21 and developing brain may be very harmful. Although in technical terms this is certainly true, most college students seem to get through fine and most importantly THEY DRINK ANYWAY! Why not stop underage arrests, stop ruining lives, prevent drunk driving from occurring (when almost everyone drinks anyway) and focus more on responsibility as well as safeness. College students that are underage drink regardless without consent and the laws allow teenagers to smoke cigarettes which are very damaging to one self although it may instill an idea of responsibility and freedom, well why are we not allowed to have the freedom to destroy our selves with alcohol as well… It is done anyway just without consent and more dangerously… I was hoping to ask former President Bill Clinton his stand on my proposal today but unfortunately there was not enough time. Thank you very much for your time and thought…

    Yours Truly,
    D.J. Gold
    UAlbany Class of 2014
    (Frustrated College Student/Drunk Observer not Participant/Huge fan of California)

  2. jsknow says:
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    The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine document that MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING: http://peaceandloveism.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4692 (read the article not just the link!)

    Google MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY. You’ll see 2 common findings:
    1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired.
    2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down a little and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy! Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

    http://www.jackherer.com/thebook/chapter-four/
    “In the 1920s and 30s, Hearst’s newspapers DELIBERATELY MANUFACTURED a new threat to America and a new yellow journalism campaign to have hemp outlawed. For example, a story of a car accident in which a marijuana cigarette was found would dominate the headlines for weeks, while alcohol-related car accidents (which outnumbered marijuana-connected accidents by more than 10,000 to 1) made only the back pages. This same theme of marijuana leading to car accidents was burned into the minds of Americans over and over again…”

    The only marijuana/driving issue that matters is: Does using marijuana cause accidents? The answer is: NO! Not on the road and not in the workplace either!

    Why is the most useful plant known illegal? It’s illegal because crooked corporations that buy crooked politicians fear competition from superior, safer and more environmentally friendly hemp products and because the Government loves to oppress jail and steal from the people! Alcohol, tobacco, petroleum, cotton, timber, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, just to name a few, all see marijuana as unwanted competition. The best way for We The People to regain our Constitutional rights and liberties is to demand a complete ban on corporate lobbying. We are supposed to have Government of, for and by THE PEOPLE, not of, for and by corporations! Corporations are NOT people!

    Marijuana does not cause aggressive behavior. Marijuana does not cause dangerous driving. Marijuana does not cause cancer, brain damage or any serious health problems. Marijuana prohibition does not keep kids away from marijuana, illegal dealers don’t ask for ID. Marijuana is not a “gateway drug”, there is absolutely NOTHING about marijuana that causes people to use other drugs. Marijuana is not addictive. In fact marijuana is one of the safest substances known! Marijuana is SAFER than many foods we consume and give to our kids all the time! Exactly what good is this prohibition doing and who is benefiting from it?

    The effects of marijuana are NOTHING like the effects of alcohol! What % of marijuana consumers beat their wife because of the effects of marijuana? What % of marijuana consumers go to a marijuana party and end up in a marijuana induced fight? What % of marijuana consumers get in a drunken stupor and spend the night in a gutter? What % of marijuana consumers pass out and stay right where they fell long after they soil their pants? What % of marijuana consumers end up choking to death on their own vomit? Exactly 0%!

    No matter where you stand on the issue of legalizing marijuana everyone should read:
    MARIJUANA AND HEMP THE UNTOLD STORY, Thomas J. Bouril, WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL, Pete Guither and the free online book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes, The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and The Conspiracy Against Marijuana. Click the links to those titles on this webpage:
    Internet Explorer web browser: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home
    All Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

    If you think marijuana prohibition has anything to do with the imaginary, false, fabricated, alleged harms from using marijuana as a recreational drug, YOU HAVE BEEN DUPED!

  3. Leonard Krivitsky, MD says:
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    The potential for DUI with cannabis is far, far less than with alcohol or many currently used prescription drugs!Cannabis prohibition is doomed to failure, as it is based on a series of total “un-realities”, which no amount of repression can make “real”. Cannabis is NOT physically addictive as it lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, the so-called “gateway drug theory discredited as invalid, much touted by the DEA drug Marinol is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis, smoking Cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer, and cannabis use suppresses violent behavior. These are REALITIES! To further say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional and is a complete “break” with “reality”. If anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies were to be intensified, the rate of alcohol, cocaine, opiates, other hard drugs, alcohol, and dangerous prescription drugs would increase sharply. Neither the DEA, not its minions can make people perceive Cannabis as “unsafe”, where is in reality it is quite safe, much safer than alcohol and other alternatives. With the rise of the use of alcohol/hard drugs, the amount of violence and mayhem in this society will also rise, something that every mother and wife should consider. In these hard economic times our so-called “representatives” do not even dare talking about cutting the bloated DEA budget, especially its so-called “marijuana” enforcement, while they are willing to discuss cutting everything else. This is because the DEA and its minions are very good with attaching labels, and no one wants to risk being “labeled” as “soft on drugs”! The employment drug tests have a potential of “screening out” “Picassos”, and Lady GaGa’s, and Willie Nelsons, but letting people like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson slip through (if the employers are “lucky”). And to say that Cannabis Plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional! Cannabis prohibition, as based on glaring scientific and philosophical “un-realities” and can never succeed in the long run!

  4. denbee says:
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    I am an old fart that has been on board with both drinkers and tokers and if the driver is drinking I will ask to be let out of the car. Not so with tokers. It may take longer to get somewhere but in every other way they are much safer than drikers.

  5. Claude Wyle says:
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    While I herein express no personal position on making marijuana legal, I have never observed marijuana to actually improve reflexes or decision making ability and these are important factors in safe driving.
    -Claude

  6. Claude Wyle says:
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    The question is not whether or not drivers under the influence of marijuana are safer than drivers under the influence of alcohol since it is not OK to drink and drive. The question should be: are they as safe as someone who is not doing any drugs or drinking at all? Even if alcohol is worse, this does not make smoking marijuana and driving safe, does it?