Despite the fact that few spend much time thinking about it, motor vehicle accidents occur. There are many reasons that such an incident might occur, including impaired driving. Whether the impairment is due to alcohol or drugs, the end result can be devastating.

In an effort to limit the number of automobile accidents that occur due to this activity, law enforcement officers routinely patrol roads throughout the nation, including the state of Wisconsin. When someone is pulled over for suspicion of this activity, tests may be performed to determine the ability of that person to drive.

While the tests are fairly well developed and widely accepted where impairment due to alcohol is concerned, with .08 blood alcohol content deemed to be above the legal limit, the same cannot be said of impairment due to drug use. This is becoming more important as some states other than Wisconsin have legalized the use of marijuana.

A recent study conducted by the federal government seeks to address that issue. In it, 19 volunteers were provided six different combinations of alcohol and marijuana by the federal government. They then got behind the wheel in the National Advanced Driving Simulator and “drove” for approximately 40 minutes. During that time information was gathered on 250 variables and saliva and blood tests were conducted.

The goal of the study is to help determine what level of marijuana or combination of marijuana and alcohol leaves someone too impaired to drive. The information collected is currently being studied.

When an injury inducing car accident which is the result of a driver who is stoned occurs, it is possible that the injured individuals might file a lawsuit against that individual to try to collect damages. Anything recovered might be used to cover expenses that accrue as a result of the injury.

Source: USA Today, “Feds test how stoned is too stoned to drive,” Trevor Hughes, July 27, 2014