Holidays should be an opportunity for fun and enjoyment, but for many, holiday festivities end with a cannabis DUI charge or arrest. Here’s everything you need to know about cannabis DUIs and the holidays.
Which Holidays Are Deadliest for DUI?
Sadly, deadly car accidents peak on and around holidays. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the top five worst holidays for fatal accidents are in the summer months — Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. On Labor Day and Independence Day, 38% of fatal crashes involve an impaired driver.
Don’t Mix THC and Alcohol
Most DUI statistics track alcohol, but how much does cannabis play a part in holiday driver impairment? Poly-drug driving is driving under the influence of two or more drugs. Behind alcohol, cannabis is the second most common drug involved in fatal car crashes. The data shows driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs is becoming more prevalent, while alcohol-impaired driving is declining. In fact, traffic safety data indicates that DUIs have increased in states following cannabis legalization. Cannabis consumers need to know that alcohol intensifies the effects of THC. On the holidays or any time of year, don’t combine cannabis with alcohol and get behind the wheel.
Source: Face Sheet from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibly
What You Need to Know About 4/20 and Cannabis DUI
What was once a day of protest and organizing against prohibition, 4/20 has evolved into a mainstream celebration of cannabis culture and consumerism. More people are participating in the festivities, resulting in a peak in the number of high drivers on the road.
Cannabis consumers should know that law enforcement is taking note and cracking down. Many states allow police to set up DUI checkpoints on 4/20, although they differ regarding what police are allowed to do under state law. The Missouri Department of Transportation set up 4/20 checkpoints with the campaign slogan “Drive High, Get a DUI.”
If you participate in 4/20 cannabis consumption, the best advice is also the safest: Don’t drive high.
Holiday Travel Tips to Avoid DUI Arrest
Nothing ruins the holidays like a DUI and driving while impaired puts people’s lives at risk. Plan ahead during the holidays so you can consume cannabis responsibly. Even if you are lucky and don’t get into an accident, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI that can cost thousands in legal defense, fines, and car impound fees — not to mention jail time.
The following tips will help you avoid cannabis DUI on the holidays or any day of the year:
- Don’t drive high, ever. Even though many people think they drive better with cannabis, the data shows that THC does not improve driving.
- Don’t combine cannabis with alcohol or other drugs. Whether you feel it or not, studies show that alcohol intensifies THC impairment.
- Plan ahead for festivities. Know how you will travel safely to and from events, and stick to your intentions.
- Check your weather forecast and travel conditions like rain and ice, and don’t drive if it is unsafe on the road.
- Check your car before leaving on a holiday trip. Make sure turn signals, lights, brakes, and tires are in good working order.
- If you plan to consume on the holidays, plan ahead by taking a taxi, public transit, or a ride share.
- Use a designated driver. If you are the designated driver, stick to your commitment and do not consume cannabis, alcohol, or other drugs.
- Be cautious of other drivers on the road. Keep in mind that more people will be driving impaired on holidays.
- Follow traffic signs and speed limits. Don’t give police a reason to pull you over and test for DUI.
- Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road. Never text and drive.
- Pay attention to DUI checkpoints where police check for cannabis impairment. Cannabis consumers need to know their rights.
- If you are transporting cannabis in the car, make sure to check your state’s laws about limits and regulations. If you are a medical patient, make sure you have your card.
- If you are traveling out of state for the holidays, make sure you know the laws and regulations of the place you visit. Cannabis is still federally illegal, and state laws vary. Do not transport cannabis across state lines.
Protect Against Holiday DUI With a reepher Membership
Any time of year — but especially during the holidays — a cannabis DUI arrest or charge is the last thing anyone wants. Cannabis DUI charges disproportionately impact people without the financial resources to defend themselves and access legal defense. Correspondingly, it is crucial to consume responsibly, know the facts, and have a proactive legal plan. Cannabis consumers must understand their rights as drivers. You deserve quality representation in the event of facing cannabis DUI charges. At reepher, we help cover these and related costs. If you’re a cannabis consumer concerned about potential DUI charges, please check out what a reepher membership offers.