How Many People Actually Drive While Under the Influence of Marijuana?

Drugged driving—or the name given to the practice of driving while under the influence of a drug rather than alcohol—is becoming a serious problem in the United States. Unfortunately, the number of individuals driving while high on marijuana seems to be steadily increasing with the number of states that have legalized the substance.  

Driving while under the influence of marijuana has been found to be risky and, in some cases, even as dangerous as driving while drunk. Sadly, the number of people participating in this behavior is increasing. In Colorado, the number of deaths caused by drivers under the influence of marijuana increased by 145 percent between 2013 and 2016. Across the country, only 10 percent of auto accidents resulting in fatalities were associated with marijuana use in 2013, but in 2016, this number increased to 20 percent. Another study found that, while only 9 percent of weekend and nighttime drivers had marijuana in their systems in 2007, 13 percent were found to have it in their systems in 2017.  

Because there is no option like the Breathalyzer test to quickly determine if an individual has been driving under the influence of marijuana, it is unknown exactly how many drivers are participating in this behavior in the United States. But one thing is for certain: the numbers are increasing, which is also leading to some severe accidents and road fatalities when it comes to marijuana abuse. The best way to avoid this type of outcome is to never drive while high.