During this past weekend, Washington’s law enforcement agencies targeted several areas across the state looking for drivers who were high. The “420” emphasis patrols were focusing on certain regions, looking for drivers who wouldn’t keep constant and safe speeds or who could not stay in their lane.
According to officials, stoned drivers who behave this way can end up crashing more easily.
Recent reports from the Washington State Patrol show that drug-related accidents are increasing in the state.
In 2018, officials stated, agents responded to 2,035 drug-related crashes, a 65 percent increase from 2015, when officials registered 1,233 drug-related crashes.
Officials say that many drivers believe that smoking and driving isn’t dangerous. Adding that marijuana does not affect them. However, that is far from the truth. As a matter of fact, officials say that drivers are crashing more often when under the influence of the drug.
In order to avoid accidents, officials are urging drivers to remember that just because marijuana is legal in the state, it doesn’t mean they can drive while under its influence. But they are also telling reporters just what locations they are more likely to find stoned drivers. And some of these spots may shock you.
According to officials, Vancouver was the spot with the highest number of marijuana-related crashes between 2015 and 2018. Following closely behind was Kent, Spokane, Tacoma, and then finally Seattle.
During that time frame, officials registered 392 related crashes. At least 37 of them involved a death while 110 had serious injuries.
The study using official data shows that Vancouver might not have as many people but it beat Seattle and others. This makes the city particularly vulnerable to marijuana-related accidents.
Most of these accidents also took place along I-5 and in the evening, when drivers are going back home from work. Still, Saturday is when officials found the most stoned drivers out on the road. Friday and Sunday followed closely behind, with Monday having the fewest accidents.
What Happens When You’re Pulled Over For Driving While High?
Officials are warning drivers that they will arrest drivers who are high.
As soon as a Washington State Patrol pulls you over, the officer processes he or she in a Mobile Driving Unit. There, a Drug Recognition Expert uses a 12-step process to determine whether the driver is under the influence of marijuana.
According to the laws of the state, if you have detectable levels of THC in the blood that are above 5 ng/ml, you will be guilty of driving under the influence of drugs.
For more on driving while high, follow this link.