Following passage of Prop. 64, CA lawmaker submits new bill

By |2022-01-03T19:38:38+00:00December 15th, 2016|

By now, most adults in Orange County are probably aware that on Nov. 8, voters in California passed Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana for recreational use. While the full effects of this in the years to come may be uncertain, some people are concerned about what this could mean when it comes to auto accidents. State legislator Tom Lackey has those concerns, and is now trying to pass a law that would allow police officers to use roadside machines to test whether drivers are under the influence of marijuana.

After proposing the new bill, Lackey released a statement emphasizing the need to use technology to help find drivers who are impaired by marijuana. The bill would enable officers to take a sample of a driver’s saliva, and then test it for various drugs including marijuana. Although the bill has support from the California Police Chiefs Association, lawmakers failed to pass a similar bill last year. But, that bill predated the passage of Proposition 64.

Similarly to alcohol, drugs like marijuana can affect a person’s ability to drive. Thus, in addition to Lackey’s proposal, the California Highway Patrol is also trying to come up with methods to detect people who are driving while impaired by marijuana.

When a person gets behind the wheel while impaired by a substance, he or she increases the risks of causing accidents. This is true regardless of whether the substance is alcohol, marijuana or some other drug. People who are injured in such accidents, or family members of fatal car accident victims, can use evidence of another driver’s impairment as proof of negligence. This could help victims or their families recover medical expenses and other accident-related damages.

As a result of Proposition 64, recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Orange County and everywhere else in California. However, this does not give people a license to act irresponsibly and endanger others by driving while impaired.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Proposal to allow roadside testing for marijuana use is revived,” Patrick McGreevy, Dec. 5, 2016


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Doug Easton has practiced law since 1971. After 20 years of practicing with various large litigation firms, he founded the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton in 1991 as a solo practitioner. In the years that followed, Doug’s sons Brian and Matt joined him in the practice and helped build the firm into a powerful force to help right the wrongs done to their clients. Much of their success over the years has stemmed from the dynamic created by the familial nature of the firm and how harmoniously they all work together, each of their individual strengths complementing and fortifying the group as a whole. Accordingly, the firm changed its name to Easton & Easton, LLP in 2014 to better reflect the true dynamic of the firm and Doug now serves as Managing Partner of Easton & Easton. In 2015, Doug was selected as a Top 100 Litigation Lawyer in California by The American Society of Legal Advocates. In addition, Doug is listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and in 2008 was named its “Professional of the Year” in Medical Malpractice.
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