Drug Law

Why Bother Mentioning Pot in DUI Crash Stories?

| by NORML

By "Radical" Russ Belville

(KOAT) ALBUQUERQUE, NM — A driver, who died after driving the wrong way on Interstate 25, and slamming into an ambulance, had a blood-alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit, according to a toxicology report obtained by Action 7 News on Tuesday.

Blood tests showed that Kylene Holmes had a 0.26 blood-alcohol level.

Tests also showed trace amounts of marijuana in her system.

You ever notice when you read about these terrible wrecks, they always seem to know the exact blood-alcohol levels but never the exact nanograms-per-milliliter of THC in the blood?  It always seems to be a “trace amount” at best or just “marijuana was detected in her system” at worst.  Yet a toxicology report is going to list exact amounts of both substances.

A “trace amount” for most of this testing is 2ng/ml or lower.  That’s an amount so low that it would be unlikely someone was actively impaired by it.

A 0.26 blood-alcohol level is an amount so high you can just about guarantee the person is actively impaired and severely so.

As far as I’m concerned, when you read “three times the legal limit”, the story is over; we know what caused this tragedy.  Unless you can show me toxicology of 5ng/ml or greater, the detection of marijuana in her system is as irrelevant as knowing what she ate for dinner that night.