According to the DUI statute in Washington, drivers are prohibited to getting behind the wheel while under the influence of any drug or intoxicating liquor. Even though alcohol related DUIs are the most common types of charges seen, there are many people who are arrested and then charged with driving while under the influence of prescription medications, over the counter medications, methamphetamine, cocaine and even marijuana, after it was used along with alcohol.
According to RCW 46.61.502 it is illegal for a person to be in control of a vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug alone, or in combination with alcohol consumption. Even though marijuana DUIs aren’t as common as alcohol related ones, they need to be taken just as seriously. If a person is facing this charge, they should contact a defense attorney right away for assistance.
Determining if a Driver is Under the Influence of Marijuana
Anyone suspected of driving while under the influence of marijuana, or any drug for that matter, is going to be investigated differently than someone suspected of driving with a blood alcohol content that is over 0.8 percent.
Initially, an officer with additional training in drug recognition, who is called a DRE – drug recognition expert – is likely to be called to the scene. After this officer makes a decision regarding drug use and the driver, and it is determined they are under the influence, they will be arrested, and a blood draw will be done. If a person refuses to submit to the blood draw, then the same consequences of refusing a breath test will occur. The main effects of this refusal include administrative license suspension and the refusal being used as proof of guilt if the case goes to trial.
Hiring an Attorney
Being caught driving under the influence of marijuana or another drug is just as serious as being caught driving under the influence of alcohol. The consequences are just as real, and the penalties can be quite severe. As a result, the best thing a person accused for this crime to do is to hire a criminal defense attorney for assistance right away.
For those who are in a situation where they need legal services for a charge of driving while under the influence of marijuana, they can contact the staff at the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter.