Drunk Driving vs. High Driving: Key Statistics

High driving bears almost no difference from driving while drunk. However, as more and more areas legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana, the law is increasingly concerned with a new problem: identifying drivers who are driving under the influence of marijuana.

The correlation between marijuana usage and impairment is a common fact, especially with several studies proving how its consumption can reduce stress and promote sleepiness. For this reason, many people turn to marijuana as a casual solution to their challenges with relaxing.

This is precisely why there has been a growing rate of people involved in high driving accidents. As marijuana is legalized and becomes more accessible, it’s still important for people to be cautious of the possible effects that come with consumption, particularly if it’s used on a frequent basis.

Despite these common reasons that people use marijuana, many still use it and then get behind the wheel immediately afterward. But this isn’t just the problem with cannabis consumption. Impaired driving is usually the leading cause of most fatal car accidents in the USA and Canada, and alcohol is the leading cause of impairment. And while driving under the influence of alcohol can easily be regulated, high driving is an entirely different matter.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors involved in high driving and drunk driving and how alarming these situations can be.


Key Statistics for Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is illegal both in the USA and Canada. In fact, if you’re driving with a blood alcohol content or BAC that goes beyond 0.08%, you’re already liable for a criminal offence in the two countries. For this reason, there are specific laws put in place to regulate and lessen incidents of drunk driving. Regulation is often done with the help of breathalyzer tests that can determine one’s BAC with the utmost accuracy.

But despite the strict regulations, fatal car crashes still remain to be an alarming problem, with most accidents leading to unfortunate deaths or, in luckier instances, severe injuries. There have already been over a million people in America who have been arrested for drunk driving, and the statistics are nothing short of worrying.

Statistics show that at least 28 people in the United States die from drunk-driving car accidents daily. Individuals aged 21-24 comprise 27% of drunk-driving fatalities, followed closely by the 25-34-year-old bracket at 25%. This goes to show that at least one person passes away every 52 minutes each day. In the past year alone, over 11 654 people have died while driving under the influence of alcohol – a significant 14% increase since 2019. 68% of these fatalities often take place during the night, while 28% occur during the daytime. Moreover, drunk driving costs tend to amount to $44 billion in damages per year. It’s even worse to think that these deaths could have been prevented with the simple choice of not driving impaired.


High Driving Key Statistics

Unlike drunk driving, it’s relatively harder to track the extent of influence marijuana has on a person while they’re driving. This is in part because we are still studying the influences of marijuana and its legal implications. Because of this, it’s harder to determine whether or not someone has been driving under the influence of marijuana, though currently it is most often detected through THC metabolites in one’s urine or blood.

The main difference between high driving and drunk driving is that individuals who are under the influence of alcohol tend to underestimate how impaired they are to get behind the wheel. On the other hand, marijuana users have a tendency to overestimate its effects. This means that a stoned driver would have an inclination to travel more slowly and be more cautious when they get behind the wheel. They’re also one to take lesser risks as opposed to even a sober driver. In contrast, those who are driving under the influence of alcohol are more likely to drive faster and even go too close to vehicles or the edge of the road.

Statistics show that 8% of Americans believe it’s far safer to drive under the influence of marijuana or cannabis compared to alcohol, with almost 23 million Americans sharing the same sentiment. Regardless, 12.4% of adults still think there are appropriate levels of safe driving according to one’s THC levels.


How a DUI Lawyer Can Help

If you find yourself getting stopped on the road on suspicion of DUI, hiring a DUI lawyer can help your case. A DUI lawyer is your best shot in mitigating the consequences of your actions, considering that they have sufficient experience and skills when handling a wide range of DUI situations. Moreover, they are also aware of the ins and outs of legal processes and can help prevent more severe sentences or long-term impacts.