Crack­down to tar­get pot-im­paired driv­ing

The Maui News - - COUNTY -

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.

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