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Washington Marijuana DUI issues two years later

Although it’s been several years since the state of Washington passed the Washington Initiative 502 (I-502), making it legal to possess marijuana in small amounts, there remains serious legal issues for motorists who are arrested for a marijuana DUI. Car Accident, Crystal Meth Legalization did not simplify the DUI process; instead, experts argue the issues surrounding the investigation of marijuana DUI arrests have substantially increased. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about marijuana DUI arrests in Washington.

Marijuana DUI Step #1 Contact a lawyer 

If you have been arrested for a drug DUI it’s important that you contact a lawyer immediately. The DUI lawyer can review specifics about your case including:
    • Did the police officer have probable cause to stop your car?
    • Was the officer trained as a Drug Recognition Expert?
    • Did the police officer have probable cause to make a drug DUI arrest?
    • Were you informed about the changed Implied Consent Law under I-502?
    • Did you understand what constituted a Refusal?
    • Did the police officer have a warrant for the blood test?
    • Did a licensed medical professional draw the blood?
    • Was there a legal chain of custody for the blood?
Answering these questions is critical to ensuring you have proper legal help.

Marijuana DUI Step #2 Before using marijuana understand the laws

Before using marijuana and operating a vehicle it’s important to understand the drug laws. Just like alcohol, there are legal limits for marijuana use. For example, under I-502, the legal limit for THC is 5.00 nanograms. If you have ingested marijuana and are operating a motorized vehicle an officer can arrest you for marijuana DUI if they establish probable cause for the arrest. Common evidence includes:
  • Red, water or “glassy” eyes
  • Slow sluggish movements
  • Slurred speech
  • The odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

Marijuana DUI Step #3 Understand Implied Consent Laws

Not only is it important to understand consumption laws before you drive, it’s also important to understand your rights after you are stopped for marijuana DUI. For instance, many drivers do not know that Washington State has added new language in RCW 46.20.308 which simply piggybacked on the DUI alcohol statutes in the state. Under this statute, when drivers obtain a Washington driver’s license they have give their implied consent to allow an officer to obtain their blood or breath for the purpose of testing their THC concentration level (if they are arrested for a DUI). More importantly, after the tests is given if the driver’s blood concentration is above the legal limit for marijuana use the Department Of Licensing (DoL) has legal authority to take action against a driver and their license BEFORE any court action. Not only is a refusal admissible in a criminal trial, your license can be suspended for a refusal. Additionally, if the concentration of marijuana in your blood is too high at the time of the arrest, regardless of whether or not you are eventually convicted of the marijuana DUI, you could have your license suspended. Bottom Line: If you are arrested for a marijuana DUI it is important to seek legal help immediately.

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