With the New Year fast approaching, many Washington residents and law enforcement agencies are preparing for retail sales of marijuana. Although retail sales are set to begin on January 1, 2014, recreational marijuana has already been legal in Washington state for a year. Local law enforcement agencies are well aware of this fact.
According to a Drug Recognition Expert with the Seattle Police Department, more Washington drivers are driving under the influence of pot than ever before. Officials from SPD's DUI squad and other DUI task force units throughout the state have echoed an increase in positive pot tests as well – an increase they claim results directly from the legalization of marijuana. Many officials have stated that too many drivers falsely believe that because marijuana is now legal in Washington, it is fine to get in their car and drive after using pot.
Statistics from the Washington State Patrol support officers' claims of an increase in marijuana DUIs. Drivers testing positive for THC – the active chemical in marijuana – has increased from 28.6 percent in 2012 to more than 41 percent during the first six months of 2013. Officials have also reported that drivers under the age of 21 test positive for marijuana more than any other substance, including alcohol. Still, officials have noted that it may be too early to reach any definitive conclusions regarding marijuana use and driving – the spike in arrests may be a result, at least partially, of an increased focus on enforcement drugged driving laws.
Experienced Marijuana DUI Defense
Ultimately, more drivers testing positive for pot has propelled law enforcement officers throughout Washington to place an emphasis on arresting impaired drivers – both to keep public roads and highways safe and to send a clear message to motorists. In Washington, drivers who have 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood will be considered legally impaired.
If you or your loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, place your trust in an experienced and proven Seattle DUI attorney who has handled these types of cases in the past. DUIHeroes serves residents throughout King County, Snohomish County, and the surrounding communities of Washington.
Call (425) 296-9358 for a FREE case evaluation.