Published on:

Recent Study Shows Legalization of Marijuana Reduces Alcohol-Related Crashes in Neighboring States

While the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is legal in a handful of states, many of their conservative neighboring states are not inclined to legalize marijuana. Additionally, many states that neighbor states where marijuana use is legal have expressed concerns regarding how the legalization of marijuana use outside of their jurisdiction could affect the crime and accident rates within their state. For example, Oklahoma and Nebraska brought a suit against Colorado, alleging that the dangerous repercussions of legalizing marijuana would leak into their state. Similarly, Idaho voiced displeasure with Washington’s recent legalization of marijuana, implying it would cause the rate of criminal activity and collisions to increase in Idaho.

A recent study suggests, however, that the legalization of marijuana use in Washington actually led to a decrease in alcohol-related car accident rates in Idaho. Although Illinois recently passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana that will become effective in 2020, the use of marijuana is not legal in any of the states neighboring Illinois. Thus, Illinois’s neighbors may experience a decrease in DUI related crashes as well. If you reside in Illinois and are faced with DUI charges, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Illinois DUI lawyer regarding your case.

Impact of Legalization of Marijuana in Washington on Idaho DUI Crashes

It is reported that an economics professor at Utah State University analyzed data regarding car crashes in Idaho for the four years before and after the legalization of marijuana in Washington, as well as data regarding internet searches in Idaho for places to buy marijuana in Washington, and data pertaining to police search and seizures of people who were caught with marijuana in Idaho. Ultimately, the professor’s study indicated that the rate of alcohol-related collisions in Idaho decreased by 18% overall after the legalization of marijuana in Washington. Additionally, the decrease in accidents was greater in counties that bordered Washington than in those that were farther away. Thus, it was reported that the study suggests that as people have greater access to marijuana, there are fewer alcohol-related accidents.

Illinois Marijuana DUI Law

Although a recent law was passed that makes it legal for people who are a minimum of 21 years old to use marijuana in Illinois, the law will not go into effect until 2020. Thus, it is unclear at this time what impact the legalization of marijuana in Illinois will have on alcohol and marijuana DUI related collisions in Illinois or in its neighboring states. It is important to note, however, that Illinois motorists are still barred from operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, and can face marijuana DUI charges. The current laws expressly state that it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle while they are impaired by the use of marijuana, or with a THC level of 5 nanograms or greater.

Meet with a Proficient DUI attorney

The legalization of marijuana use throughout the country continues to reduce crime and accident rates, but motorists can nonetheless be charged with marijuana-related DUI offenses in Illinois.  If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is in your best interest to meet with a proficient Illinois DUI attorney regarding your potential defenses. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC is a zealous attorney with the experience and skills needed to help you fight for a just result. Mr. Harvatin can be reached at 217.525.0520 or via the online form to set up a free and confidential conference.