AAA report: Deadly crashes involving marijuana double in Washing - KPTV - FOX 12

AAA report: Deadly crashes involving marijuana double in Washington

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File image of DUI-marijuana traffic stop in Washington from Washington State Patrol. File image of DUI-marijuana traffic stop in Washington from Washington State Patrol.
File image of DUI-marijuana traffic stop in Washington from Washington State Patrol. File image of DUI-marijuana traffic stop in Washington from Washington State Patrol.
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

The number of deadly crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana more than doubled from 2013 to 2014 in Washington, according to a new report from AAA.

The report released Tuesday states the number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who had detectable THC in their blood at the time of the crash jumped from 49 in 2013 to 106 the following year.

The proportion of drivers with detectable THC comprised 17 percent of all deadly crashes in Washington in 2014, up from 8.3 percent in 2013.

AAA's findings show that the proportion of drivers positive for THC remained fairly consistent from 2010-2012 in Washington, but those numbers began increasing significantly about nine months after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in December 2012.

Of all the THC-positive drivers involved in deadly crashes from 2010-2014, 39 percent also had detectable alcohol in their system, while 16.5 percent tested positive for other drugs, according to the report. An estimated 34 percent did not have alcohol or other drugs in their blood, while 10.5 percent had both.

The data was obtained from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and comprised a census of all motor vehicle crashes that occurred on public roads in Washington and resulted in death within 30 days.

The report also states that legal limits for marijuana and driving are unsupported by science, calling it an "arbitrary practice" with no connection to whether a driver is actually impaired.

"Setting legal limits poses problems because there is no reliable science to support impairment at specific levels of marijuana in the blood," according to AAA.

The full report is available at aaafoundation.org

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