A court sentenced a New York City teenager to prison for up to 15 years after he admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana before crashing his car and killing his four passengers. 19-year-old Joseph Beer considered continuing his defense during a deadlocked case but ultimately pleaded guilty to relieve the pain the pain felt by the victims’ families.
Beer was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide and received a sentence of five to 15 years in jail.
Beer expressed remorse for the 2012 fiery crash that killed his four friends, stating that he “hates himself.” A victim’s mother address the court in tears, stating that the collision marked the worst day of her life. Another victim’s uncle said that the Beer ruined the lives of five families.
According to reports, Beer was driving in excess of 100 mph at the time of the crash.
Intoxication, Reckless Driving a Serious Danger
Reports on the casualties on America’s highways brought on by driving while under the influence of marijuana show that this “harmless” drug is not so harmless for those who get behind the wheel. Studies focusing on marijuana’s effects show that the drug can inhibit decision-making, reduce peripheral vision and interfere with driver multitasking; all of these abilities are important driving skills.
Historically, there has not been a benchmark amount of THC, marijuana’s source of intoxication, necessary to be considered “legally high.” This is because, unlike alcohol, any consumption of marijuana has been considered illegal, so there was never a need to “prove” that someone was intoxicated when using this drug. However, as states such as Colorado legalize marijuana, that reality may change. Colorado and Washington have considered setting the point of being legally intoxicated via marijuana at five parts per billion of THC in the bloodstream. The problem with that plan is that marijuana can stay in the system for weeks after smoking, unlike alcohol, which metabolizes fairly rapidly.
According to the University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future,” an annual survey of 50,000 middle and high school students, slightly more than 10 percent of respondents admitted to driving a vehicle after smoking marijuana.
My Family Member Died Because of a Negligent Driver
When someone dies in a New York car accident due to the negligence of another person, the next of kin may be able to recover damages for the car accident death under New York wrongful death statutes. The attorneys at Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York fight for the rights of families who have lost loved ones in New York car accidents. Our staff will work with you to build your case and ultimately offer some closure to the tragedy. Call us today for a free consultation.