In the past, the term "DUI" usually referred to driving under the influence of alcohol. However, Washington DUI laws prohibit drivers from driving under the influence of drugs as well, including marijuana. Additionally, a motorist may be arrested for driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs. In the United States, it is unlawful in all 50 states to operate a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that equals or exceeds .08%, but law enforcement cannot use BAC testing to determine a driver's level of marijuana impairment.
To eliminate this problem, Washington legislature developed a THC threshold to measure drivers' marijuana impairment. According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) § 46.61.502(b), a driver is under the influence of marijuana when he / she has a THC concentration of 5.00 or more in his / her bloodstream within 2 hours of driving. RCW § 46.61.502(c) states that law enforcement can arrest a driver if he / she is simply "affected' by marijuana as well – even if the driver's bloodstream THC levels do not exceed 5.00.
Marijuana DUI is punishable by the same consequences as driving under in the influence of alcohol. Your first DUI conviction in Washington is punishable by a minimum jail time of 2 days. First-time DUI convictions can also result in 1 year of incarceration, a fine between $865.50 and $5,000, driver's license suspension for 90 days, mandatory DUI / drug education, and insurance penalties. Subsequent marijuana DUI convictions are punishable by stiffer consequences.
Your second marijuana DUI conviction may lead to a minimum 30-day jail sentence (up to 1 year in jail), a fine ranging from $1,120.50 to $5,000, 2 years of driver's license suspension, mandatory drug education, and insurance penalties. A third conviction is punishable by the following:
Prosecutors may charge marijuana DUI as a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the circumstances concerning your arrest. For example, if law enforcement believes that you drove under the influence of marijuana and caused the death of another person, you could face a vehicular homicide charge. According to RCW § 46.61.520(2), vehicular homicide is a class A felony, punishable by incarceration in a state prison, exorbitant fines, and other penalties. Other factors include the presence of a minor in the car, injuries to third parties, and prior DUI convictions.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, you probably have a lot of questions. Will I go to jail? Do I need an attorney? What happens if I'm convicted? These are legitimate concerns with real answers – let a Lynnwood DUI lawyer help you answer them. At the Dichter Law Office, PLLC, we are completely focused on handling DUI cases. When you work with our skilled attorney team, you can have peace of mind knowing that a skilled legal representative will be on your side through every step of the legal process. Attorney Dichter has received a 10/10 Superb rating on Avvo every year since 2009, is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, is trained to represent drug and marijuana DUIs, and continually strives to stay on the cutting edge of DUI technology and developments.
To see what a Lynnwood DUI defense attorney can do for your case, contact our office today.