Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in New York
Uploaded on: Jun 15, 2022
Duration: 2.5 Min

Video Description

With a stroke of Governor Cuomo’s pen in March twenty-twenty-one, recreational marijuana was legalized in the State of New York. Individuals twenty one years and up can now possess and purchase certain amounts of marijuana without a medical reason. Predictably, the government is balancing access to marijuana with public safety. For this reason, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal in New York. In fact, the law has committed resources to developing better technology to detect drugged drivers. Driving while high is not only dangerous, but it can land you in deep trouble both criminally and civilly.


In the criminal context, the most obvious way you can get in trouble for driving while high is by being hit with a DWI charge. New York defines two DWI offenses criminalizing driving while high on marijuana. They are driving while your ability is impaired by drugs and driving while your ability is impaired by either multiple drugs or drugs combined with alcohol. If you are convicted of either of these misdemeanor offenses, you face fines, jail time, a suspended license, and a criminal record. Driving while high can also make you eligible for other serious criminal charges. For example, if you drive high, get in an accident, and cause another person’s death, you could be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. A conviction could send you to jail for up to seven years.


Driving while high can also land you in trouble in civil court. If you get into a car accident, the other driver can sue you civilly for compensation for their injuries. The outcomes of these lawsuits depend on how much each driver was to blame for causing the accident. If it is established in court that you were driving under the influence of marijuana, the court will be much more likely to think you were at fault, since you were driving while impaired.


Besides the risks of getting in trouble, driving under the influence of marijuana is plainly irresponsible. It puts your safety and the safety of others in jeopardy. However, if you do happen to be involved in a criminal or civil case where you are accused of driving while high, you may have a slight advantage. The reality is that we don’t know enough right now about marijuana’s effects on driving.  We also don’t have very accurate ways of measuring marijuana intoxication. This makes it hard for these accusations to consistently hold up in court.

If you are involved in a marijuana-related case or have been injured by a driver who was high and want to take them to court, contact us for a free consultation. At Rosenblum Law, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of how the law thinks about marijuana intoxication, and we demonstrate time and again our ability to get results for our clients.

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