According to reports, the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission implemented extra patrols on this Saturday's 20th day of April. State, regional, and local law enforcement officers were planning to step up their patrols to look for those who are impaired by marijuana while driving. Numerically, the date correlates to the term 4:20, which is identifiable to the world of cannabis culture as a time when marijuana is smoked or ingested. High visibility 420 emphasis patrols were conducted this Saturday by the Washington State Patrol and virtually every county sheriff's office in the state, as well as many city police departments. According to the report, law enforcement agencies across the state will see an increase in marijuana-related driving impairments on April 20 but have also noted a marked escalation in such instances since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Washington five years ago.
Seattle marijuana DUI defense attorney Steve Karimi explains the Washington marijuana laws that drivers should be aware of before hitting the road.
Driving Under The Influence of Marijuana
Driving a vehicle under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Washington. The punishment for a marijuana DUI conviction is the same as an alcohol DUI conviction, which can have severe consequences on a driver's life.
An individual is guilty of driving while under the influence of marijuana if the individual has, within two hours of driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood.
Proving that a driver was intoxicated by marijuana can be difficult for prosecutors. THC, the ingredient behind the intoxicating effect of marijuana, lasts in a person's system for days after consumption. Because of this, a driver may have a blood level THC concentration that exceeds the legal limit, but they were not under the influence while driving because the marijuana high had already worn off. An experienced marijuana DUI defense attorney can help you understand if this defense is available in your case.
Possessing or Consuming Marijuana While Driving
In addition to marijuana DUI laws, Washington has laws governing the possession and consumption of marijuana while driving. It is considered a traffic infraction to keep marijuana in a car unless it is in the trunk. If the car does not have a trunk, marijuana must be stored in an area not normally occupied or directly accessible by the driver or passengers. In Washington, a utility compartment or glove compartment is deemed to be within the area occupied by the driver and passengers and is not a proper marijuana storage location. It is also a traffic infraction to consume marijuana in any manner including smoking or ingesting it while in a vehicle.
Contact Seattle Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
If you're facing driving under the influence of marijuana charges in Washington, experienced attorney Steve Karimi can help to defend your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi in Seattle for a free consultation by calling us at 206-621-8777.