More pot-impaired drivers in deadly crashes in Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says more marijuana-using drivers are getting into fatal crashes.

Data released Tuesday indicate that the number of Washington drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for active marijuana doubled from 2013 to 2014 – the first year of legal marijuana sales in the state.

Commission member Shelly Baldwin says that’s alarming – especially considering that the number of alcohol-related fatal crashes has been dropping.

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for active THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, had held fairly steady from 2010 to 2013 – between 32 and 38 per year. That number jumped to 75 in 2014, and about half were above the state’s legal limit for marijuana-impaired driving.

The commission says many of those drivers also tested positive for alcohol or other drugs.

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