Although alcohol related fatalities have dropped in our state, due in part to more enforcement and the Target Zero program the number of pot related accidents, fatalities and infractions has grown significantly.  Impaired driving is down overall, but pot is pushing it's way towards being level with alcohol.

Even two years ago, those pot levels were increasing sharply following the legalization of recreational pot.

These trends fly in the face of a recent study released Friday by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, which says:

  • 81 percent are concerned about traffic safety
  • 78 percent do not drive within two hours of consuming alcohol
  • 85 percent do not drive within two hours of consuming cannabis
  • 91 percent do not drive within two hours of consuming both
  • 81 percent have a negative attitude about DUICA
  • 83 percent believe it is unacceptable to drive within two hours of consuming alcohol and cannabis
  • Most agree that impairment begins as soon as you start consuming alcohol or cannabis.

The study was conducted by Montana State University, at the Western Transportation Institute. The study does show at least 53% of people reported being exposed to a situation where they could clearly intervene to prevent an impaired person from driving, and they did so. 19% did not.  Those intervention numbers are higher than a few years ago. 9% in the study admitted to driving, even a short distance, while under the effects of alcohol or pot or both.

WTSC officials say even that 9% is still too high, as all it takes is one impaired driver to kill one or more people and have a ripple effect on other lives as well.