Marijuana has long been declared legal in Washington, but its effects on potential DUI offenders is raising concerns for safety on the road. Suppose you are also flagged down on suspicion of being under its influence while behind the wheel, you will need help from a Puyallup DUI lawyer such as Kim E. Hunter to get you out of that situation.
The Big Issue
Under Initiative 502 passed in 2012, authorities may arrest a marijuana DUI suspect if tetrohydrocannabinol (THC) content in the bloodstream is found to be at least five nanograms per milliliter of blood per se within two hours of the arrest. A problem with this provision is that even if the count is under the said limit, you need to withstand allegations of being under the influence of the drug.
At the same time, a defense team needs to account for both active and carboxy THC present in the body. Active THC is the material that’s still raw after marijuana absorption and identified by toxicologists during the draw. Carboxy THC is the THC that remains in the system even after some time has elapsed since you consumed the drug.
Take note though, that other factors related to marijuana consumption may later influence the flow of charges. An AVVO article states that marijuana’s THC potency and person’s own fat content tends to affect the absorption of THC that is critical for high count to be established within the required two-hour window.
A defense counsel must be able to prove that any DUI incident involving their client may have been flawed to some degree, thus working toward potentially lesser liabilities. In the context of Washington State, however, that has generated a raft of issues. Washington Traffic Safety Commission official Shelly Baldwin said the percentage of blood samples from DUI crash suspects that showed active THC registered at 85% – the percentage was roughly half at the time of Initiative 502’s passage. However, NORML president Paul Armentano counters that the supposedly high number of DUI suspects who tested positive does not mean the traffic situation is worsening.
Even though you may be allowed to buy marijuana for medical purposes in Washington State, being caught while on a possible high can be a serious charge down the line. Let a DUI attorney like Ms. Hunter see your case through.
More Washington Drivers Use Pot And Drive; Effect On Safety Disputed, NPR.org
Defending a Marijuana DUI in Washington, AVVO