Q Mr. Roadshow, I have witnessed this action about a half a dozen times in the last few weeks: people smoking dope while driving, some from a pipe-type device or hookah. Is this legal? Does having a medical marijuana card make smoking dope legal while driving?
A No. Smoking marijuana is not allowed in a vehicle even if the driver or a passenger has a medical marijuana card, according to the CHP. Marijuana is still a controlled substance and people can be found to be under its influence while driving, even if they smoked it before driving.
Drug-involved fatalities have risen by 39.3 percent in California during the past 10 years, with 709 deaths. And while the total number of alcohol- and drug-involved crash fatalities decreased in each of the previous five years, it increased by 5 percent in 2011.
A recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 28 percent of high school seniors reported riding in a car over a two-week period with a driver who had used drugs or alcohol, or said they had driven after using drugs or alcohol themselves. One problem for researchers is how to determine how much marijuana is too much, as there is no comparable DUI standard.
Q At 6 feet 5 inches tall and about 255 pounds, I and most of my colleagues question why it is so easy for me to get drunk. I think most would agree with the convention that a big guy should be able to hold his booze better than someone with a lower body mass and be able to drive safely.
Not so. For me it's not .08. Not .05. My only SAFE choice is .00.
My best friend is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 145 pounds. He can walk a straight line after soloing his bottle of wine in 30 minutes. All this makes me wonder if any numeric value could accurately determine an individual's drunkenness. Perhaps the very idea that a concentration test is reasonable should be challenged and some other tests should be the yardstick by which we measure an individual's level of intoxication?
A I think it would be hard to replace the blood-alcohol test. And bear in mind that you don't have to be legally drunk to be driving impaired. You can be well under .08 and pose a risk behind the wheel. It's good that you recognize that your size doesn't mean you won't be affected after a few drinks, and .00 is your best choice.
Q Do you know anything about the construction on Lincoln Avenue between San Carlos and Park in San Jose? Some days it's open, other days it's closed. I never know if it will be open or closed, but my boss is not very sympathetic if I show up late for work. If it's going to continue for a while, I need to find an alternate route to work.
A Tell him you have special Roadshow dispensation, as we can't have an angry boss. There is an underground utilities project on Lincoln from San Carlos to Parkinson Court, and work should be completed by Halloween.
The city has a website that provides a link listing current construction projects along major roads in San Jose. Go to www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=297, where you can also sign up for weekly email notifications.