Marijuana, Getting High & Car Insurance

Effects Of Medical Marijuana On Auto Insurance

Driving a motor vehicle when high or intoxicated in any state in the country is illegal. The penalty is a DUI for doing so which can drive the insurance premiums through the roof.

Laws Differ By State

A common theme when it comes to marijuana is that each state has set its own rules for how they regulate the use of marijuana during driving (often referred to informally as drug-driving) and how the penalties may be imposed.

Some states conduct THC blood tests or urine tests, if the THC levels are above a certain legal limit then you will be charged with a DUI. Some states that use the permissible limit approach have set their limit at zero meaning you can’t have any THC in your system.

In states that follow these DUI rules, only having more than the permissible amount of THC in your body is enough to charge you. Officials don’t need to prove that you have shown any physical or mental symptoms of the disability at all.

If you live in a state that uses only signs of disability as their benchmark for a DUI (and no blood tests), you may assume you have no reason to be concerned. But it’s crucial for you to note that even though you’re a citizen of a certain state – while driving through it you’re subject to the laws of another state.

So if you visit nearby states from time to time, drive for work, or drive halfway across the country to see family you might go through states where THC restrictions are being implemented.

What Happens After Getting Charged For Driving Under The Influence (DUI) Of Marijuana?

Similar to how state-to-state use of medicinal and recreational marijuana varies, penalties for a drug-related DUI often differ widely. Law enforcement depends on a range of approaches to determine the extent of impairment, such as field sobriety tests, analytical testing, or a substance recognition expert’s expertise. If the officer finds the driver to be impaired, they may be taken to a hospital for a 12-step evaluation and possible toxicology examination.

Like alcohol, prior convictions play a part, as the punishment can vary from revocation of licenses to medication and probation for drug abuse.

If driving under the influence of drugs results in injuries or even death, the fines and auto insurance are likely to rise as these drivers are seen by insurers as presenting greater risk and affecting their driving record.

How Does Marijuana Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Although researchers continue to study the link between smoking cannabis and driving, controversy exists about the relation between the use of marijuana and the rates of auto insurance. Auto insurance providers are definitely closely monitoring you to see if pot use will potentially become a significant factor in setting your insurance rates. But more research and regulations will be required before a connection is determined.

If you’re in a car crash and you were intoxicated or high during driving, your rates will go up, but not because you’d smoke marijuana. It’s because you had your car damaged in that accident. Usually, auto insurance premiums do not increase after a one-car crash unless you were driving drunk, speeding, or other dangerous conduct.

In some states, if you’re caught driving under influence (DUI), which can involve driving while high or drunk, your auto insurance premium rates could rise drastically over several years.

You may even cancel your policy entirely requiring you to buy expensive SR-22 coverage.

What Is The SR-22 Certificate?

Insurance under the SR-22 is not a specific insurance policy. It is a statement in your name that your auto insurance provider files stating you have enough car insurance. The insurance package that you receive after submitting the SR-22 is often called “SR-22 insurance.”

States require third party liability insurance documentation, as this would compensate for any accident or property harm caused by your driving to others. Usually, the coverage offered by the minimum SR-22 policy does not cover any harm to you or damage to your own car. And if you were considered a high-risk driver would you be forced to get SR-22 insurance.