Pot legal? You can still get a DUI
Impaired driving is against the law, even if you're in one of the states where voters legalized marijuana. And it will raise your insurance rates.
This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.
Both states -- as well as the 17 where medicinal use is approved -- penalize stoned drivers the same way they do drunken drivers.
Washington's ballot measure establishes a concentration of five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, per milliliter of blood as proof of impaired driving. Backers of Initiative 502 say (.pdf file) a marijuana smoker who lets several hours pass before getting behind the wheel should fall beneath that standard. But most other states -- where marijuana is still considered an illegal substance -- have a zero-tolerance standard.
Those who are convicted of impaired driving face major legal and financial problems. CarInsurance.com's What's Your Limit? tool, though geared toward those planning to drink, spells out the state-by-state penalties for a DUI conviction.
In most states, a driver convicted of a first-offense DUI is required to spend at least some time in jail -- 24 to 72 hours is common. Fines can reach $5,000. You'll lose your license in many places for a year.
You usually must file an SR-22 form -- an insurance company's guarantee to the state that you are carrying the mandatory coverage. The form is cheap, but the fact that you are required to have one is a huge red flag to insurance companies.
At least you won't face a possession charge.
You will, however, have to pay a huge penalty for insurance. Car insurers don't really care what you ingested, only that you have a conviction on your driving record. You should expect your insurance rates to double for as long as the DUI is on your record; in most states, that's three years.
We ran auto insurance quotes on basic liability and personal injury protection for a 24-year-old woman in Seattle driving a 2005 Honda Accord EX to and from work, with no prior violations. After adding a DUI conviction, the cheapest rate we found rose from $742 a year to $1,608.
More on CarInsurance.com and MSN Money:
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- Your guide to car insurance discounts
- The 7 gotchas of cheap car insurance
- Smart Spending on the go: Get our app for Android or iPhone
- Could legal marijuana become big business?
- How to get a warning, not a ticket
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WAY TOO LOW of level for a POT related DUI conviction.
You smoke all weekend at a concert and you will fail on Monday morning on the way to work. We MUST fight this clause of the new law or we will all regret it. Any medical smokers and anyone who is "a couple of times before bed each night" daily smoker will fail on the way to work every morning AND they will fail almost every time tested. They will ALWAYS be at risk of a DUI even with ZERO chance of impairment. NOT A GOOD LAW as written with the DUI clause and I like everything else about it.
Please spread the word on this one thing.
edit: Toke of the Town website has some good info on the level of 5 nanograms issue. It will set us back to have this in place. It will be abused.
sounds like someone needs to test and see what level u are impaired at.somebody call myth busters.
I have traveled throughout the continental US of A under the "influence" of Marijuana. Mind you, I utilize it medicinally. Having said that, I have never experienced any troubles driving after a couple of hits.
If I roll a joint, it lasts me nearly a week...not a single "toke" session.
Now having said that, having ingested a single man-made narcotic one time. I couldn't tell you how I managed to make it home from the hospital's pharmacy ten miles away! Luckily no one was hurt during that episode! Never again will I utitilize anything involving man-manipulated substances!
Marijuana isn't as bad as most who have never tried it makes it out to be. Who do you trust more? The power above who provided this plant for our use or mankind who messes everything up when mandating, manufactoring or manipulating things for self-serving interests.
Though I don't agree 100% with this law, it is a start.
Some heavy pot smokers can have 5 nanograms of THC in their system even if they don't smoke that day.
Some pot smokers have a much higher tolerance. Others might take one toke and totally lose touch and be out of control. Just like legal prescription narcotics, tolerances are different for everybody. One person might take a 5 mg percoset and be very messed up, while another person can take 3 or 4 percosets and be completely in control (pain has a way of using the narcotics so they don't affect the mind in some people -this also depends on tolerance and whether a certain narcotic agrees with a patient).
Like I said, we do have to start somewhere and the marijuana DUI laws will change over time just like they have for alcohol.
There are several over the counter medications that also impair one's ability to drive. How do we deal with medicated drivers. I have read a few bottles that simply say "do not drive or operate heavy eqquipment until you no how you react to the medicine" others simply say "you should not drive or operate heavy equipment while under the influence.
I also want to say that if Marijuan was such a hazzard to drivers where are the bodies? Everyday there are thousand of High Schoolers that light up and drive. If they were able to show the Death & Destruction caused by marijuana smokers while driving, we would be drowning in the negative ads from every anti drug group out there.
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