Marijuana is a drug that comes from the cannabis plant. In the brain, the drug particles, called cannabinoids, bind to the cannabinoid receptors which are responsible for human functions such as motivation, appetite, experience of sensations, and mental clarity.
When someone uses marijuana before driving, the impairments include poor mind-body coordination, impairments in large and fine motor movements, judgment problems, inability to use information learned in the past to apply to the current situation, memory problems, and lack of receptivity to new stimuli.
Over 60 experimental studies have shown, both in the lab with simulated driving equipment and in actual cars on test ranges, that as the dosage of marijuana increases, the level of impairment increases in equal increments.
These studies have shown that marijuana also affects a driver’s attention to detail, perception of time, perception of speed, and alertness. Ironically, one of the most used drugs and most heralded for being “natural” and “not a big deal” is one of the most potentially deadly for the fact that people use and drive and because it stays in the system for much longer than other drugs.
Over 3,000 fatally injured drivers in Australia were tested for Marijuana in the blood. Those who had tested positive for Marijuana in the autopsy were far more likely to be the one who caused the deadly accident. The higher the concentration of THC, the more likely each person was to be the one at fault.
Marijuana qualifies for a Utah DUI charge for all of the above-mentioned reasons. It is dangerous for drivers to use Marijuana. However, because myths about its safety perpetuate, Utah DUI attorneys find themselves continually busy defending the many who decide to drive under the influence and end up in serious trouble.