Impact of cannabis use behind the wheel raising concerns in Vermont

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:15 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2023 at 1:05 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Cannabis sales are ahead of expectations in Vermont but smoking weed behind the wheel continues to be a concern.

Unlike some other states, Vermont does not have a legal, quantifiable amount of cannabis in your body that permits you to drive or conversely guarantees you a DUI in the same way that there are BAC rules for alcohol.

Under Vermont law, it is illegal to consume cannabis and drive. Vermont State Police say they have had more than 60 calls since October where cannabis was involved relating to DUIs, motor vehicle complaints and crashes.

Vt. State Police Lt. Paul Ravelin said if people feel different, they will drive differently.

“Signs of impairment are consistent amongst several categories of drugs to include alcohol and cannabis. You can see delayed reactions, you can see someone’s ability to concentrate on divided attention to be reduced. The ability to perceive a hazard and react to that is reduced pretty significantly. And then some of the symptoms, physical signs and symptoms that we see is pretty consistent with what folks can attribute to cannabis use,” Ravelin said.

It is also illegal to use cannabis as a passenger in any sort of operating vehicle.