Many people fail to realize that Maryland judges can find teens and adults guilty of driving under the influence if they have been using marijuana. This can happen even if the driver uses the drug legally for medical purposes.
Why is marijuana use dangerous if driving?
Marijuana slows how rapidly a teen can make a decision when driving. It also impacts teens’ ability to make wise decisions. Teens who have been using marijuana also have less coordination. Marijuana can also distort your perception of reality.
What are the penalties for driving under the influence in Maryland?
The first time that a judge finds a teen guilty of driving under the influence in Maryland, they can have their license suspended for one year. They may also have to pay a $1,000 fine, and the judge can sentence them to one year in jail. They can receive a $2,000 fine if found guilty of driving while intoxicated a second time. They must spend five days in jail, and the judge can extend that to one year. If the two offenses occur within five years, the teen will have their license suspended for at least one year. Once allowed to drive, the teen must have an ignition lock placed on their vehicle. A judge may also sentence them to a mandatory drug abuse program.
What can parents do to help teens follow the rules?
Concerned parents who think their child may get in trouble for driving under the influence should make sure that they establish clear rules outlining their expectations. Create a secret code with the teen that allows them to text the code to the parent, who will call and demand that they pick up the child immediately if they are at a party and the driver becomes impaired. Model the behavior you want your teen to see by setting an example yourself.
While don’t drink and drive is well-known advice, you should stress to teens that driving and marijuana use do not mix.