The use of recreational marijuana is now legal in Missouri with the passage of Missouri Amendment 3 (MA3) this past November. Adults 21 and older can legally own and use marijuana products, while the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (MDH) is finalizing the laws for buying and selling. While the new law allows more liberties for citizens and should add significant tax revenue, it will likely make a particular type of car accident more common: marijuana impaired driving car accidents.
The Missouri personal injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group want you to understand the effects of recreational marijuana use on driving, as well as Missouri marijuana DUI penalties. Read on to learn more.
How Does Missouri Recreational Marijuana Affect Driving?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It has many effects on the human body, both mental and physical. When a person smokes or ingests marijuana, THC can lead to:
- Slowed reaction times
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Distorted perception of time and space
- Inhibited decision making
- Difficulty focusing
Safe driving requires you to pay close attention to road conditions. In some cases, you may have to react quickly to steer out of danger. Impaired driving due to marijuana use can make simple drives extremely difficult and quick decisions impossible. Using marijuana before driving can be dangerous to you, your passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. Additionally, it can be considered reckless behavior that can put you in a difficult legal situation.
Penalties for Marijuana Impaired Driving Car Accidents
Missouri is a zero-tolerance state when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Although the state makes a distinction between drunk driving and drugged driving, the penalties are similarly harsh. For first-time offenders caught driving under the influence of Missouri recreational marijuana may be jailed for up to 6 months and have their license revoked for 30 days. Repeat Missouri marijuana DUI offenders may face additional jail time, permanent license suspension, and fines up to $5,000.
Although the effects of THC typically last between one to three hours, there are many factors that can affect potency. In some cases, people may be impaired by Missouri recreational marijuana for up to eight hours.
Even if you feel “fine,” you may still be under the influence of drugs and should not get behind the wheel. For your physical and legal safety, our team highly recommends finding alternate transportation if you’ve been using marijuana products away from home. Calling a friend for a ride, hailing a taxi, or ordering an Uber is a small price to pay compared to the costs of a Missouri marijuana DUI offense.
Contact Patterson Legal Group
The Missouri personal injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group hope that you found the information above useful and that you have a better understanding of how serious marijuana impaired driving car accidents can be.
If you’ve been injured by a driver that was using marijuana then contact us for immediate assistance. Our team of experience and skilled legal professionals can help you find the medical services that you need and start building a case designed to get you the highest settlement possible.
You can reach our Missouri marijuana DUI accident lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at (816) 920-0000. We’re also available online through LiveChat and secure contact form. Patterson Legal Group works on a “no win, no fee” basis so you won’t have time to pay a dime unless we win your case. With our staff’s genuine commitment to customer service and a proven track record of winning outstanding results for our clients, Patterson Legal Group has become one of the most trusted law firms in the U.S. Give us a call today and we’ll earn your trust.