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Synthetic marijuana caused driver to fall asleep and crash

A woman was arrested last week in Columbia after a car accident where she hit two other vehicles and injured a total of five people. Fortunately, the injuries were minor, but it could have been far worse, as two of the passengers were children, ages 2 and 5.

The car crash was a result of her falling asleep while driving, which was apparently due to her smoking synthetic marijuana. Police arrested her after she was treated and released from the hospital. The police indicated a "marijuana smoking device" was found in her vehicle after the accident.

She was charged with second-degree assault, as Missouri law includes intoxicated driving as grounds for an assault charge.

While most people recognize the danger posed by driving while intoxicated by alcohol, and most suspect that drugs like marijuana could impair their control of a motor vehicle, some assume that drugs that are "synthetic" are somehow less harmful.

While most states impaired driving laws are tailored to encompass drunk driving caused by alcohol intoxication, they typically are broad enough that any impairment that diminishes your ability to control your vehicle could lead to criminal charges.

This outcome was lucky. The vehicle was seen traveling eastbound on Stadium Boulevard. While she hit two vehicles, she could have hit one or more pedestrians, or the accident could have caused one of the vehicles to rollover and result in an ejection of the driver or a passenger.

If a person has substance abuse problem, they need help that will prevent them from driving impaired and having another accident, with a deadly and tragic outcome.

Columbiatribune.com, "Woman arrested after crash that injures five," November 5, 2014

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