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Marijuana and Alcohol Traffic Study in Belgium

A recent study showed that Belgian drivers injured in traffic accidents are far more likely to possess drugs and alcohol in their systems than are Dutch drivers. This is according to information to be published in the journal Forensic Science International. This is surprising as cannabis was three times more prevalent in the Dutch general driving population (2.1 percent) compared to that of the Belgian driving population (0.49 percent).

535 drivers were researched in this study. 348 were from Belgium and 187 were from the Netherlands. Researchers stated, "In Belgium, more drivers were found positive for alcohol and drugs than in the Netherlands. ... Alcohol was the most prevalent substance among the injured drivers in Belgium (42.5 percent) and the Netherlands (29.6 percent). ... In Belgium there were ... more positives for THC (8 percent). ... In the Netherlands, almost no positive findings for cannabis were recorded (0.5 percent)."

The conclusion was that "The lower prevalence of alcohol in the Netherlands is associated with a much lower number of crashes and killed and injured drivers. ... Despite the high prevalence of THC found in the general driving population, surprisingly almost no THC was found in the Dutch injured driver population."

While the study is interesting, I doubt it would be very useful in such a conservative place as Johnson County, Kansas. As a DUI defense lawyer practicing Olathe, Kansas, supporting such a study would likely just make the judges and juries in this area angry. But you never know. As a lawyer, I have seen trends, legal popularity, and law opinions change over time. Currently, in Kansas, you can be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol or any drug, including marijuana.