Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana In New York

In 2021, recreational use of marijuana/cannabis was legalized in New York State. Persons aged 21 and older can:

  • possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis, for personal use
  • may smoke or vape cannabis

Is It Legal to Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana in New York?

No. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in New York State. While marijuana has been legalized for both medical and recreational use in the state, it is still considered a controlled substance under New York State law. This means that it is illegal to drive while impaired by marijuana. It is also illegal for drivers and passengers to consume cannabis while driving.

It is important to note that even if a driver has a valid prescription for medical marijuana, they can still be charged with a DUI if they are found to be impaired while driving.

Penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol vary between fines, suspension of the driver’s license and a potential imprisonment.

Can I Possess Cannabis While Driving?

Yes, but only if you are over the age of 21 and does not exceed the legal limits set by New York State. If you are transporting cannabis, it must be secured, out of sight, and out of reach of the driver and passenger. You cannot cross state or international borders with cannabis in your possession.

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How Does Marijuana Influence Driving?

Driving “high” can have similar effects as driving under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana use can significantly increase the risk of accidents regardless of how much is consumed. Consumption of cannabis can influence driving by:

  • Reduced coordination can result in problems steering, maintaining lane position, or reacting to changes in road and traffic conditions.
  • Altered perception of time and distance leads to misjudgment of speed and the distance between you and other motorists on the road.
  • Impaired cognitive function can lead to delayed responses and poor judgment while operating your vehicle.
  • Decreased attention and concentration leads to difficulties in maintaining focus and can result in distracted driving.
  • Increased drowsiness can be a side effect of certain strains of marijuana, leading to fatigued driving.

What to do After Being Hit by a Driver Under the Influence of Marijuana

Even though it is a dangerous activity, many individuals choose to drive under the influence of marijuana and put themselves and other motorists at risk. If you were hit by a driver that was under the influence of marijuana or cannabis, taking the following steps is crucial to protecting your legal rights and well-being:

  • Report the accident by contacting the authorities. Request medical attention if needed.
  • Don’t confront the other driver. If the other driver is under the influence of marijuana, the situation may escalate quickly.
  • Document the accident scene by taking photos and videos, obtaining the other driver’s information, and gathering any witness statements.
  • Visit a medical professional for evaluation and treatment of injuries.
  • Consult with an experienced car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm.
  • Our attorneys can help you hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions and help you get the best result possible.

Get The Barnes Firm in Your Corner

Driving under the influence of marijuana is not only illegal in New York, but extremely dangerous to drivers, passengers, and other motorists. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a driver under the influence of marijuana, call The Barnes Firm today at (800) 800-0000 for a FREE case evaluation. It could be the best call you make.

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