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Marijuana's 4/20 holiday linked to roadway fatalities

Many people in Virginia and across the United States are well aware of the dangers of drunk driving and the impact that alcohol can have on someone's ability to operate a car successfully. The effect of alcohol on driving is reflected in the well-known uptick in fatal car accidents that happens every year on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year's Eve, two occasions known for alcohol consumption and partying. As cannabis is legalized for medical and recreational use in a growing number of states across the country, there has also been an increase in attention on driving while under the influence of pot. It has been noted that April 20 each year - the marijuana holiday often called 4/20 - has a slight increase in fatal accidents on an ongoing basis.

In a study on the subject, researchers counted the number of deadly car accidents each year on April 20 from 1992 to 2016. The study then compared these numbers with dates one week prior and one week after that date. The data did not contain information on the potential involvement of marijuana in the crashes or whether the drivers were under the influence of any substance.

In their results, the researchers found a slight upswing in the number of driver fatalities on April 20 in comparison to the other dates. This marked an approximately 12 percent increase in roadway risk on that date or an additional 142 deaths linked to the day.

A conviction on impaired driving charges can result in significant penalties, including fines, license suspension, and in some cases incarceration. Accordingly, people who are in this situation might find it advisable in having the help of an attorney when trying to combat the allegations.

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