DUI Offenses Not Limited To Alcohol Consumption

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With Wyoming’s neighbor to the south passing a law allowing the usage of marijuana, the concern is that drivers in Colorado and adjoining areas will take to the roads in an impaired state. The Ochs Law Firm has come out with some important safety tips geared toward avoiding danger.

...although unsafe ‘high’ driving may look a little different than drunk driving, a stoned person at the wheel nevertheless puts themselves and others at risk for injuries and even death.

Colorado lawmakers made waves with the passage of a law permitting marijuana usage, garnering a fair amount of national media attention in the process. The hubbub comes even as the activity remains against the law at the federal level.

The automobile accident lawyers of the Ochs Law Firm are concerned about what could happen when high drivers think permission to use marijuana extends to their rights behind the wheel of an automobile. The truth is that an individual who pilots a vehicle with marijuana in their system is still an impaired driver. As such, their actions could lead to dangerous crashes or a DUI arrest for the offending party.

In such an environment, Jason Ochs wants to make sure that no one in the vicinity of Colorado is endangered by irresponsible drug usage. With offices in Denver and multiple locations in Wyoming, Mr. Ochs and the rest of the practice are uniquely positioned to address the safety issues facing citizens of both states.

“First off, marijuana is still illegal within Wyoming,” said Mr. Ochs, “so traveling across state lines is grounds for a citation or arrest whether or not vehicular travel is involved. But things get really dangerous when someone in either state attempts to drive. Impairment is impairment, and although unsafe ‘high’ driving may look a little different than drunk driving, a stoned person at the wheel nevertheless puts themselves and others at risk for injuries and even death.”

So that safety might be maintained, Ochs Law has put together some actionable tips that drivers in Wyoming and Colorado would be wise to enact.

  • Never Drive High- It’s as simple as that. Regardless of where you stand on the advisability of marijuana usage, we should all be able to agree that driving while high is an unacceptable action. Those still in doubt should look to the public safety campaign recently unfurled by Colorado’s Department of Transportation. As explored in the March 10 USA Today article “Colorado airs ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ marijuana ads,” when you drive with marijuana clouding your judgment, there will be consequences.
  • Look Out For Unsafe Drivers- In an age of rampant cellphone usage, it’s hard to judge whether or not a driver weaving in and out of lanes or failing to maintain a consistent speed is texting, using marijuana, or simply isn’t a great vehicle operator. Those who notice unsafe actions in either Colorado or Wyoming should keep a healthy distance, not attempting any sudden movements like slamming the brakes or cutting off those conveyances.
  • Report Irregular Behavior- When an individual is reasonably certain that someone they’re sharing the road with is impaired in some manner, they owe it to themselves and others to alert the proper authorities. The best method would be to use a hands-free device to place a call to local law enforcement or have a passenger do the same on a cellphone, offering up a description of the vehicle and its behavior.
  • Helping Friends Help Themselves- Persons who are at parties where marijuana is being used should institute a safety strategy similar to the Designated Driver program. Anyone who is using marijuana must have alternate travel plans available that won’t have them piloting a vehicle, and sober individuals can do their part by taking the keys from impaired drivers and calling cabs where necessary.

“We know that whatever we say, there are going to be those who smoke or ingest marijuana,” said Mr. Ochs. “We want to make sure that persons intent on doing so aren’t going to harm others and that people who abstain have the tools necessary to protect themselves and others.”

Ochs Law is an award-winning practice recognized by such entities as the American Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice. With offices in Wyoming, California, and Colorado, the firm is able to offer representation to victims of personal injury accidents as well as assistance to persons going through divorce, filing class action lawsuits, defending against criminal accusations, and more. At Ochs Law, visitors can gain access to a free consultation service and a litany of resources geared toward those who are hoping to learn more about legal representation.

The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any lawyer as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer’s credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisement or self-proclaimed expertise. The information provided herein should not be construed to be formal legal advice.

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Jason Ochs
Ochs Law Firm
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since: 07/2010
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