You never have worried about getting a DWI before because you don’t drink alcohol. You just didn’t assume that it would happen because there was never a chance for you to be impaired.
However, you do use marijuana, ever since it was legalized in New York. Maybe you like to use it in social situations, the same way someone else might have a drink. Can you get pulled over for a DWI if you’ve been smoking or taking edibles before you drive?
This is still impaired driving
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that impaired driving doesn’t necessarily specify the type of impairment. While most people who get a DWI are impaired by alcohol, you can certainly be charged if you are impaired by marijuana or other illegal drugs. In fact, people can be given impaired driving charges if they’ve taken certain prescription medications.
However, this process can be a bit more complicated. For instance, there is no way to test for marijuana in the same way that you would conduct a breath test during a traffic stop. A police officer may believe they smell it or the driver may have bloodshot eyes, a potential sign of using marijuana, but that is different than testing.
Moreover, if lab tests are used, marijuana can show up in someone’s system long after it’s actually affecting the way that they drive. If a drunk driver is over the legal limit, it’s assumed that they are impaired. But someone could still have THC in their system a day after using marijuana, long after that impairment has faded.
As such, if you are facing DWI charges, it may be important to know what legal options you have.