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Soft drug legalization does not mean Virginians can drive high

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2021 | Criminal Law

Around the United States, drug laws are rapidly changing, and Virginia is right in the middle of soft drug legalization. As of July 1, 2021, recreational use of cannabis is legal in the state for adults over the age of 21. With that said, the new law does not mean Virginians can drive high.

Despite the recent legalization of some types of soft drug possession, the relaxing of the law does not apply to the rules of the road. According to the state legislature, drivers who are under the influence of soft drugs like cannabis can still face DUI charges.

Soft drug legalization

In the state of Virginia, adult use of soft drugs like cannabis is legal for anyone under the age of 21. Based on the new law, Virginians can legally possess, grow or gift up to an ounce of the popular soft drug. However, it is still illegal to sell, drive or possess more than an ounce. Other soft drugs like psilocybin remain illegal as well.

Drugged driving laws in Virginia

According to Virginia law, no driver may get behind the wheel while under the influence of cannabis “to a degree which impairs his or her ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle safely.” In addition, driving a car automatically gives implied consent to providing samples of his or her blood and/or breath for chemical testing to determine intoxication levels.

For Virginians who are happy to see the legalization of soft drugs like cannabis, a commitment to driving sober can help them enjoy their new freedoms without unwanted legal consequences.