A Marijuana DUI is nothing new in Washington State however Marijuana DUIs are recently getting more press.
The Voters passed a Referendum legalizing the possession and or consumption of Pot / Marijuana and in an apparent deal with the Devil. It was decided that if a Driver had a Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active form of Marijuana, level of 5 nanograms or more, the Driver is now presumptively guilty of DUI Marijuana.
Previously an individual was driving under the influence of Marijuana if the Officer could convince a Jury or Judge that he or she believed the Driver was affected by Marijuana. Back then, a Marijuana DUI was a guessing game. Unlike an Alcohol DUI where a driver was presumed guilty of DUI if he or she was an adult and was over the 0.08 legal limit .
Now that the presumptive level for Marijuana is 5 nanograms, a Driver is presumed guilty if he or she has a small amount of THC in his or her system. The determination of THC in blood is obtained through a THC blood test.
If more than 5 nanograms of THC is found in the blood, then the Driver not only faces a Criminal DUI charge but also must endure the wrath of the Department of Licensing (DOL) and potentially lose the ability to drive for at least 90 days. This is a new wrinkle in the Marijuana DUI world. Before, when we didn’t have a presumptive level for Marijuana, the Driver only faced a loss of license if convicted of a Marijuana DUI on the Criminal side of the law. Now with the new system in place, if the Driver is over 21 years of age, he or she faces both a Civil and Criminal loss of license if there is more than 5 nanograms of THC in their blood. If the driver is a minor, then there is zero tolerance and any level of THC in the system can result in a loss of license.
Obviously, a loss of freedom and/or a loss of license is a big deal. If you have been arrested for a Marijuana DUI in Washington State, then you need a Marijuana DUI Attorney. If you have questions about the WA State Marijuana DUI process you can reach me at (425) 422-5818 or visit my website, www.washington-dui.com, to schedule a free in office consultation. Mark W. Garka