Crackdown to target pot-impaired driving
Police traffic officers will increase enforcement of drug-impaired driving Friday to raise awareness about the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving.
After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often linked to impaired driving, the Maui Police Department reported.
While the use of medical marijuana has become increasingly accepted in the state and across the country, marijuana-impaired drivers are committing the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, police said.
“When medication or a drug that is legally prescribed to you has impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle, it is illegal for you to drive,” an announcement said.
THC, the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana, has been shown to cause impaired reaction time, diminished hand-eye coordination, loss of concentration and shortened perception of time and distance, it said.
“We understand the current state law, which supports the use of marijuana for legitimate medical purposes,” police said. “However, it is very important for everyone using medicinal marijuana or any other prescribed drug to understand how these drugs cause impairment. Whenever you are prescribed medication, it is your responsibility to ask your doctor and/or pharmacist how that specific medication may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle.”
Penalties for impaired driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs are similar to penalties for alcohol-impaired driving.