Governor Charlie Baker Introduces Legislation to Address “Drugged Driving”
Massachusetts was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016. However, with marijuana legalization came accidents resulting from driving while high. To address is this issue, governor Baker announced a legislative proposal that would update Massachusetts’s road safety laws. The legislation is named for State Trooper Thomas Clardy, who was killed when a driver high on marijuana crashed into his car.
This new bill would adopt the recommendations of the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving by revoking someone’s license for six months if they are suspected of operating under the influence and marijuana and refuse to take a chemical test for impairment. Additionally, the bill would prohibit drivers from having loose or open packages of marijuana in their cars. This new bill would treat marijuana much like alcohol for driving purposes. Currently, if someone is charged with OUI drugs, a police officer will typically file an immediate threat suspension which takes the person off of the road for an average of nine months to one year and requires the person to completely a substance abuse evaluation.