You may not be surprised to learn that Washington is among the states with the highest levels of admitted "drugged driving." According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration taken between 2006 and 2009, Washington ranks 18th on the list of drugged driving states, with 4.9 percent of survey respondents indicating that they had driven a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or some other drug at least once during the previous 12 months
That puts us in a tie with Nevada and Minnesota - but still well behind the top state of Rhode Island (with a rate of 7.8 percent). However, the new Washington statute will maintain a zero-tolerance marijuana policy for drivers under the age of 21. Which is why the following study is so discouraging.
Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance commissioned a survey this year of some 2,300 teens in 11th and 12th grade. The research found that 20 percent of respondents claimed to have driven under the influence of marijuana at some point - and more than 1/3 of the teens did not think that pot had any adverse effects on their driving. But under the new Washington law, these teens can be charged with DUI if any marijuana is found in their system - regardless of whether the teens felt that pot affected their driving.
Do you feel that marijuana affects your driving or have you observed that other people's driving was affected by marijuana? How about compared to alcohol?