In March, 2021 New York State legalized the usage of recreational marijuana. It is important that both drivers and passengers understand how this new legislation translates when traveling in a motor vehicle.
According to New York State Law, In New York, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while his or her ability to operate such a motor vehicle is impaired by the use of a drug, or he or she is impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs. McKinney’s Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 1192(4)(a).
Just as it is legal to consume alcohol over the age of 21 but it is not legal to drink while driving or drive impaired, the same holds true for marajuana. Passengers are also forbidden from smoking or ingesting edibles while in a motor vehicle.
Why is it so crucial that drivers remain sober? Because being under the influence of marijuana significantly increases your chances of being injured in a car crash, or injuring someone else. According to DrugAbuse.Gov, “Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.7–9 Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones.”
We encourage all drivers and passengers to abide by New York State Law, it could save your life or the life of someone you love.