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Alcohol and cannabis use behind the wheel: A deadly double risk

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2022 | DUI

Most drivers learn the dangers of drunk driving when they first learn the rules of the road or through sobriety programs after a DUI, but did you know that alcohol combined with cannabis can cause even more serious consequences for drivers who choose to combine the two?

CNN reports that in a recent survey of drivers, nearly half admit to driving while under the influence of cannabis or alcohol, while nearly 30% reported using both before getting behind the wheel. Drivers who use both substances may want to understand the risks and consequences of such behavior, especially if they carry any previous DUI convictions.

Substance use and driver behavior

When drivers choose to indulge in both alcohol and cannabis and then get behind the wheel, both substances can affect their driving habits in a variety of ways. Not only can each cause drivers to feel sleepy, but they may also have an effect on perception, including:

  • A sense of overconfidence
  • Reduced reaction times
  • Problems with judging distance

All of these can cause drivers to misjudge traffic flow or become too lax about braking and accelerating, which may result in an accident.

Daily alcohol and cannabis use

Some individuals who use both cannabis and alcohol daily and at the same time may not realize the effect it has on their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. They may not feel any serious impairment and believe themselves capable of driving safely. However, this combination can further impair the senses and severely slow reaction time.

Even those who use medical cannabis and alcohol can find themselves facing a DUI charge when they use both substances together. Users may want to realize how the drug affects them before they decide to get behind the wheel.