Contrary to popular opinion: Driving high is illegal.
Seattle DUI prosecutors say that you would be surprised by the number of individuals who mistakenly believe that driving under the influence of marijuana is legal given the recent law that made recreational marijuana use legal, reports KIRO TV.
Prosecutors are dealing with this misinformation and ignorance directly as they have to convince juries that driving high equates to guilt -- which apparently is an uphill battle for many juries. For example, one prosecutor says that there was a case where the evidence proved that the driver was "very very impaired" and yet the jury found that the driver was not guilty of a DUI.
While it is the prosecutor's job to clear any misconceptions about the law to the jury, prosecutors indicate that this particular fight has been very difficult. To demonstrate this, a recent poll asked Seattle residents whether it was a crime to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Thirty percent of residents indicated that it was not or they were unclear about the law. Remember that it takes only one jury member to exonerate a criminal defendant.
City attorneys and the Seattle Police Department are now working together on education programs and efforts to let the public know that driving high is illegal. This is especially true if the driver's THC level does not pass the legal limit. The law is that so long as your driving is impaired by the drug, you may be convicted of a criminal DUI, regardless of the amount of THC in your system.
Contact a Seattle DUI Attorney
This story highlights the amount of confusion regarding the laws of driving while high. Both prosecutors and the defense have to deal with the challenge of interpreting new laws and also educating juries and their clients to the requirements.
If you have been charged with driving while high in the Seattle area, you can get help with your case by contacting an experienced attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense. Call us at 425-284-2000 to get started on your case.