With the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state of Washington, a person no longer risks a criminal charge for possession. This does not mean that a person is immune from repercussions if they choose to drive while high, however. Several studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute show that accidents are on the rise in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, including Washington. The studies do not conclusively show that marijuana legalization has caused the increase in accidents, but the institutes' president believes that the drug is a contributing factor.
If you've been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, Steve Karimi is standing by to provide the help you need to defend against your charge.
DUI and Marijuana in Washington
Because of recreational marijuana's legalization in 2012, the state of Washington has had to come up with new ways to protect those on the road from drivers who are operating their vehicle while under the influence. Specifically, now that the drug is legal, lawmakers had to determine the threshold for a person to safely drive after using marijuana. The state's DUI statute specifically states that it is illegal for a person to drive while under the influence of marijuana, but did not have any provisions quantifying what was considered "under the influence." As such, amended laws now state that a person can be found guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana if the THC concentration in his or her blood was more than 5.0.
Marijuana Impairment is Difficult to Prove
The problem with marijuana charges is in proving that a person was impaired at the time they were driving. Whereas a person's alcohol level at the time they were driving can be easily calculated by a breathalyzer, marijuana has no such test. Therefore, an officer can arrest you if he or she reasonably believes that you were high at the time you were pulled over. The difficulty in proving that you were impaired while driving can actually work in your favor, however--a successful criminal defense attorney may be able to poke a hole in a prosecutor's argument.
Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana? We Can Help
When you are faced with a DUI charge in Seattle or a surrounding area in Washington, your best chance at a positive outcome comes from arming yourself with the legal knowledge of a seasoned DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. A DUI conviction can have a serious impact on a person's life, both temporarily and in the long term. Because of this, you should never try to fight your DUI charge alone--and with our legal team on your side, you don't have to. Steve Karimi has proudly established a reputation for zealously defending his clients, and is dedicated to providing the competent representation you need to defend against your charge. Don't wait until it is too late to fight your marijuana DUI charge--to speak with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (206) 621-8777 today.