Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Washington. There has been plenty of media coverage about that.
However, what you may not be aware of is that there are also new laws addressing driving high. Given the fact that recreational marijuana is now legal, there will be more drivers on the road with pot in their system. It's now time for these drivers to be aware that driving under the influence of marijuana is just as dangerous (and illegal) as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Washington's DUI Laws
Washington driving under the influence laws always addressed driving under the influence of drugs. The general rule was that if your driving is impaired by drugs, you may be charged with a DUI. It doesn't matter if you only had a puff of marijuana or only trace amounts of THC in your system, you may be charged with a crime.
Recently, Washington lawmakers also passed specific laws regarding the amount of THC you can have in your system and still drive. With this new law, you are deemed intoxicated if your THC level is above five nanograms regardless of how well you drive. This is analogous to the 0.08 blood alcohol limit to determine drunk driving.
The problem with legalizing recreational marijuana use while also passing new DUI laws is that many drivers are now unclear of the rules of the road. So drivers must be careful and realize that you cannot drive high or have more than 5 nanograms of THC in your system. Ignorance of the law is not a defense to a DUI charge. And if the state does not do a better job educating its constituents, it is up to individuals to familiarize themselves with the law.
Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with driving high in the Seattle or King County areas, you should contact an attorney. These laws are very new and you will need an experienced attorney to help argue your defense and explain your options. To learn more about how an attorney can help you, contact Wolff Criminal Defense by calling 425-284-2000.