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How would legalizing pot affect DWI laws?

In Maryland, including Silver Spring and Montgomery County, legislatures are in the process of proposing bills to allow the recreational use of marijuana. It is important to keep in mind that this would not even go up for vote until November of next year, but the fact is that within the state and even around the country, the idea of legalizing marijuana use is very popular.

According to polling from the previous few years, as many as 58 percent of Marylanders are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. The state is also taking heat from its neighbor, Washington, D.C., which has legalized recreational use of the drug. Unfortunately though, it is not necessarily all good.

Just like drunk drivers who hit the roads after a few too many, there is nothing physically stopping a high driver from getting behind the wheel. Although the effects of drug use vary greatly from that of alcohol, both drugs and alcohol impair the brain and the body, increasing the likelihood of a driving while impaired accident.

Although police officers cannot perform a blood test to confirm the sobriety of a driver, they can still use field sobriety tests to come up with a decision. In addition, blood samples can be taken shortly after getting pulled over to determine whether the driver was under any influence. The fact remains that an arrest for any DWI is a serious crime and should not be taken lightly. A guilty verdict could lead to very serious long-term ramifications. It would be wise for someone in that situation to consider reaching out to a criminal defense team to see how they could help.

Source: FindLaw, "Driving Under the Influence of Drugs," accessed on Jan. 10, 2016

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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Silver Spring, MD 20910

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013