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New California Vehicle Code Sections On Smoking or Ingesting Marijuana While Driving- Either as Driver or Passenger

California amended their Vehicle Code to include violations for smoking or ingesting marijuana (or any marijuana product) while driving a motor vehicle or while being a passenger in a motor vehicle. Violation is an infraction- which is treated the same as a traffic ticket. Commencing January 1, 2018, California Vehicle Code Sections 23220 and 23221 now state:

California Vehicle Code Section 23220

(a) A person shall not drink any alcoholic beverage or smoke or ingest marijuana or any marijuana product while driving a motor vehicle on any lands described in subdivision (c).

(b) A person shall not drink any alcoholic beverage or smoke or ingest marijuana or any marijuana product while riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle being driven on any lands described in subdivision (c).

(c) As used in this section, “lands” means those lands to which the Chappie-Z’berg Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Law of 1971 (Division 16.5 (commencing with Section 38000)) applies as to off-highway motor vehicles, as described in Section 38001.

(d) A violation of subdivision (a) or (b) shall be punished as an infraction.

California Vehicle Code Section 23221

(a) A driver shall not drink any alcoholic beverage or smoke or ingest marijuana or any marijuana product while driving a motor vehicle upon a highway.

(b) A passenger shall not drink any alcoholic beverage or smoke or ingest marijuana or any marijuana product while in a motor vehicle being driven upon a highway.

(c) A violation of this section shall be punished as an infraction.

It is also illegal to carry an open container of marijuana in the vehicle. If you are going to carry marijuana in your vehicle, it must be carried in the trunk of you vehicle or if carried inside the vehicle, it must be in a sealed, unopened container.

And remember- you can also still be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) as well if you are driving while under the influence of marijuana (or any other drug). This is a misdemeanor in California

If you are charged with violation of either or both of these vehicle code sections, or ANY other traffic or criminal matter, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman in Huntington Beach for a free initial telephonic consultation at 714-871-7778

This update brought to you by the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman in Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA. Always a FREE initial telephonic consultation at (714) 871-7778.  Quality representation at affordable rates!

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