Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ithaca DWAI Lawyer When 1 + 1 = 3 or Why Marijuana + Alcohol = Trouble

Ithaca is NOT GORGES
It's Pipes, Bongs, Shishas, and Hemp

The prevalence of marijuana use continues to increase nationally not just locally. Whether this use pattern is due to it's increasing "legalization" or it's increasing "medicinal value" or it's new found increasing social acceptance is unclear.

Both directly and indirectly marijuana is assuming a new role as the second most used drug after alcohol. In the not too distant future I believe that pot will be easy to obtain, legal, prescribed by doctors, marketed and advertised both recreationally and in a host of products.

In my Ithaca legal practice I am seeing more DWI and DWAI cases that are involving the combination of alcohol and marijuana. From my perspective this is more common with the college crowd. This correlates with all the recent studies which indicate the most common age group to combine drugs and alcohol with driving is highest in those in the 19 - 20 age group.

The Green Dragon
from weed forums.com


A study from the Netherlands (Dr. James O'Hanlon) examined the effects of THC upon driving in combination with alcohol. The conclusions reached were that one drug (THC) potentiated (increased) the effects of the other (alcohol).

1.  .04 BAC alcohol plus low dose of THC = the impairment effects of .09 BAC
2.  .04 BAC alcohol plus moderate dose THC = the impairment effects of .12 BAC
3.  .04 BAC alcohol plus high dose THC = the subject could not even stand up (was falling down)

.04 BAC = approximately 2 drinks (2 shots = 2 regular beers = 6 - 8 oz. of wine)

The impairment effects from the combination of THC plus this low level of alcohol lingered for 3 hours. Alcohol at the .04 BAC level should dissipate back to zero within this same time period.
In fact, .04 BAC alcohol is not even impaired in NYS (.06 BAC to .07 BAC is legal impairment).

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Choosing to drive when combining marijuana and alcohol can be much more dangerous than alcohol or marijuana alone. The impairment effects are far greater, and the effects last way longer than either by themselves.

Don't ride your car AFTER you ride the Green Dragon! 

Originally, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father was a NYS corrections officer, and my mother a waitress. I now live in Ithaca, NY with my wife (of 25 years), and four kids. I have a B.S. in Human Biology, Doctorates in Law and Chiropractic, and a Post Graduate in Acupuncture. I practiced as a Chiropractic Physician in Florida from 1986 to 1995. I graduated law school in 1997, and went on to practice trial law in FL, NY, NJ, and PA. I love practicing criminal defense and injury law within the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Over 90% of the cases that I take on are New York DWI defense cases. I am certified as a breath tester by the Department of Transportation, the guidelines of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). I am certified in Field Sobriety Tests, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 450 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 440 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. Included in Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York are materials I provide clients, such as my fee agreement and ways to avoid misdemeanor probation. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.



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Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.