Driving while high?

As recent posts of mine will attest, my stance on social issues leaves much to be desired, so I open this thread to find out where we all stand.

As a valet driver in Atlantic City, I have noticed…IMHO… a few instanced which concerns me.

With the recent legalization of weed, I have seen a handful of smokers…some with a joint in hand or in mouth…get behind the wheel and drive off.

Liquor is legal, too…but I certainly cannot toss back a few shots of whiskey and get behind the wheel.

So, I ask my fellow Dopers (the irony is not lost on me)…do you feel it is questionable to smoke weed and drive?

I don’t think you’re going to get much of a disagreement. At least not on this website. Impaired driving is dangerous and criminal.

I have seen studies showing that driving while impaired by marijuana is not as dangerous as driving while intoxicated by alcohol. But I don’t think that should be the standard. It’s a bad idea and people shouldn’t do it.

Absolutely. I consider driving under the influence of any chemical (recreational, medical, etc.) that impairs necessary functions (alertness, judgement, reaction speed, coordination, etc.) for controlling several tons of vehicle seriously irresponsible and am comfortable with significant penalties in cases where the offender CHOSE to drive impaired. Getting blind-sided by an unexpected reaction to an unfamiliar chemical or having been given said chemical without one’s knowledge or permission* would, of course, be another issue. Intent to be impaired is the significant factor there.

*As in this thread from last year. Summary: bride and caterer thought it would be a marvelous idea to serve the guests pot-laced food without telling them. People wound up in ER because they had no clue what they’d ingested and/or were having problems with the dosage, and I’ve always wondered how many of the guests ran into problems such as surprise DUI or failing employment-related drug testing.

Marijuana’s impact on a person depends heavily on their tolerance level and experience.

There are chronic stoners who are sort of always at some level of “high”; they can, IMO, drive without issue. They won’t be in a rush, but they’ll be able to operate the car safely.

But if getting high is new to a person, or they haven’t ingested in a while, it’d definitely be a bad idea to drive, since you can quickly get to a point of sensory overload.

They’ll only drive 5 mph, so they won’t attract attention.

It’s illegal to drive impaired in my state. If they are driving impaired, and get into an accident, it will make matters much worse for them, assuming that they survive. Lots of people take chances in life. Driving impaired, regardless of the cause of impairment, is a fools errand.

I have brought my concerns to my General Manager, who agrees with me.
However, the law has not caught up to the “driving while high” backlog of DUIs…
…whatever number that is.

He has also informed me Law Enforcement is coming out with some kind of breathalyzer
to test suspects in the near future.

Seems safe as long as your windows are functioning.


If you’re driving under the influence, be it alcohol, weed, or anything else, stop. Otherwise, I hope you get caught, arrested, and subjected to whatever keel-hauling is legal in that jurisdiction.

A friend of mine almost died because of a drunk driver. I used to be an EMT. Friday night duty shift. 'Nuff said.

I have ZERO tolerance for those who drive under the influence. Z-E-R-O.

That’s the punchline of a Dave Chappelle bit. He was in a car pulled over because the driver was drunk. The officers thought he was drunk too and said he could only drive home if he passed the breathalyzer - since he was stoned, not drunk, he passed… and drove home so slowly it was obvious he was stoned.

Do you feel that a person who only had one drink (say, a glass of wine with dinner) is under the influence of alcohol? Is it possible to imbibe and not cross that threshold?

Driving under the influence of only pot is far, far different than driving under the influence of only alcohol.

While I don’t condone either state, I will say that driving while stoned is much safer than driving while drunk.

Do you know anybody who almost died because of a driver who was impaired because of weed?

In my case, yes. One beer(5%) is enough for me to feel the effects and be aware that my attention and reflexes are not as sharp as they should be.

I’ll second this. You can have a couple of drinks & be below the legal .08 threshold but impairment really does begin with the first drink. Try it with something that requires fine motor skills, I learned that many years ago, sitting at the table in my house trying to build/paint a model. Precise placement with tweezers & alcohol do not mix.

It’s certainly illegal where I live. Even though I live in one of the two states to legalize weed first.


It’s a growing problem in my state too; people have it drilled into their heads not to drive drunk. But not driving while high is a new thing, because until relatively recently it was illegal to get high at all.

As the stigma of weed goes away, people are more encouraged to smoke, which is fine, and operate a vehicle while under the influence, which is not.

I thought fer sure it was going to be this one.

Half the otc meds you can buy tell you not to drive if you take them. (Most cough and cold remedies). How can it be a new idea that you shouldn’t drive while stoned?

Anyway, it’s not as dangerous as driving drink, mostly because people high on cannabis are aware that they are impaired, whereas people can be seriously impaired by alcohol without realizing that.

I am curious on where things stand in quantifying impairment for cannabis. Are there any good studies done, yet?

I do weed gummys to sleep better, and believe me, I would not do one and then expect to be able to drive, about 4 hours post gummy I can just about manage to stagger the 7 feet between bed and toilet …

I found some a few years ago. I’m not sure i can find them again.