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Alcohol and marijuana affect drivers differently

Impaired driving regardless of the source of intoxication could result in criminal charges for New York motorists. According to a survey, detection of marijuana in the systems of drivers has risen by 50 percent in the past seven years whereas alcohol consumption by drivers has fallen 77 percent since 1973. A scientist from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that both intoxicants present dangers. Drivers impaired by alcohol tend to be more reckless, while those who are under the influence of marijuana might have slower response times.

Data for the roadside survey came from collecting saliva or blood from drivers. Tests of drivers revealed the presence of drugs in their systems at a rate over 22 percent. The time of day influenced the prevalence of THC detection. Positive tests of the marijuana component emerged from 9 percent of daytime drivers while 13 percent of nighttime drivers had signs of marijuana in their systems.

With the rise in marijuana consumption, researchers continue to evaluate the effect on traffic safety. During these evaluations, researchers have not addressed the issue of marijuana legalization because their focus has been on measuring the rate of drug and alcohol use among drivers.

Although drug and alcohol use habits might be changing within the population, drunk driving remains a common criminal offense faced by many types of people. A person arrested for driving under the influence has a right to gain advice and representation from an attorney. A defense strategy might emerge after an attorney evaluates the circumstances of the traffic stop and field sobriety test. Challenges to the validity of evidence might result in dismissed charges.

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