The passage of I-502 made recreational marijuana use legal in Washington for adults.
As a result, police departments across the state including the Seattle Police Department are no longer training their dogs to detect marijuana, reports KATU. The departments reasoned that dogs alerting their handlers to pot led to too many unwarranted investigations and detentions of individuals who lawfully carried the drug.
Along with no longer training new drug-sniffing dogs on marijuana, police departments are also working on desensitizing dogs who have already been trained to suss out marijuana. Basically, these police departments will be teaching these old dogs to forget their old tricks.
Drug-sniffing dogs had sometimes been used in DUI arrests. For example, these dogs could alert police officers to the probability that the driver was under the influence of drugs or had illegal possession of drugs.
With dogs no longer smelling for marijuana in some jurisdictions, police will now have to rely on other evidence for probable cause to make a DUI stop based on marijuana use. This can include evidence like erratic driving, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and other signs of "high" behavior.
If you have been charged with a suspected DUI in the Seattle or King County areas, you should know that police officers need probable cause to make the stop. This probable cause can come from a variety of sources. Without probable cause, the stop and arrest may be illegal.
The attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense are experienced DUI defense attorneys who can help review the facts of your case and work on your defense. We can help determine if police were justified in making the initial stop and if there are other defenses to your DUI charge. Contact us today at 425-284-2000 to schedule a free consultation.