Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, which has led to an increase in consumption across the state. Despite the legality of consuming marijuana for approved medical purposes, many users are unfamiliar with the laws regarding drug consumption and driving. Because of this, many drivers who understand that drinking and driving will lead to a DUI do not realize that they can be charged for driving while high.
A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that approximately 14.8 million people in America drove within an hour of marijuana use in the last 30 days before participating in the survey. That same survey also found that 70% of American adults believe that drivers who are high on marijuana are unlikely to be caught by the authorities. However, driving within one to four hours after marijuana use can be both dangerous and obvious. Most of the impairing effects of this drug use happen within that time frame, and these drivers are two times as likely to end up in a car accident.
Law enforcement officers are also better equipped to identify high drivers than they were in the past. In Oklahoma alone, there are at least 3,200 specially-trained police officers. There are also 180 Drug Recognition Experts in the state. Officers in general are also increasingly looking for impaired drivers.
Being accused of a DUI because of alcohol or drug use is a serious offense. Defendants probably already know that they can temporarily lose their licenses, which can affect their ability to make it to work or school. Convictions can even prevent defendants from working in certain fields and industries in the future. Because of this, it is important to begin criminal defense planning in as timely a manner as possible.