Why Marijuana Use Can Raise Your Auto Insurance Rates


Although marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in some states, including Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, in many states, a DUI conviction involving marijuana use can increase your auto insurance premium rates. Driving under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, or other controlled substance increases the risk of being in an accident, which will cost your insurance company and you money. Therefore, before climbing behind the wheel, it's important to consider all the adverse effects drugged driving can have.

Drugged-Driving Convictions

Driving under the influence is illegal, and like other DUI convictions, driving while under the influence of marijuana can lead to higher insurance rates or your insurance company canceling your auto insurance policy. Even if the medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal in the state where you live, a drugged-driving conviction may be treated in much the same way as a drunk driving conviction.

Typically, prosecutors rely on certain evidence when seeking a DUI conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana. Such evidence may include:

  • The presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in a blood or urine sample

  • The odor of marijuana in your vehicle when the police stop you

  • The police finding marijuana in your vehicle

  • Field sobriety tests that show you were physically or mentally impaired while driving

Effects of Marijuana On Driving

While the effects of cannabis – also known as marijuana – vary from person to person depending on an individual's weight, size, and state of health, when taken in large enough doses, the drug can affect driving ability. As a result of slowing down messages traveling to your brain, the drug can:

  • Slow your reaction times

  • Lead to confusion

  • Negatively impact motor coordination

  • Cause changes in your vision, hearing, and spatial perception, including depth, distance, and direction perception

Consequently, the side effects that even a small amount of marijuana in your system can produce may affect your judgment and driving ability. Smoking large amounts of marijuana can produce more serious adverse effects, such as causing hallucinations in some people.

Chemical Compounds In Marijuana Cause Adverse Effects

THC and cannabinoid chemicals found in marijuana interfere with the nervous system's normal functioning, which can lead to some level of physical or mental impairment while operating a vehicle. THC is a chemical found in the marijuana plant that can cause psychological effects when inhaled.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that studies show a link between the concentration of THC in the blood and impaired driving ability. In addition, a review of numerous studies indicates that the risk of becoming involved in a vehicle crash when using marijuana about doubles.

What It All Means

Anything that makes you a higher risk as a driver will raise your auto insurance premiums. Driving under the influence of marijuana can slow your senses, leading to impaired judgment and other unsafe driving habits.Contact an insurance company, like Peake Insurance Agency, for more information.


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