Can I Get a DUI for Driving High?
You can definitely get a DUI for driving high. When it comes to THC consumption, just like with alcohol, you can get a DUI for driving with a blood THC level above the state limit that is allowed in Washington, even if you are not, in fact, high. That level is 5 nanograms.
There is very little correlation between the 5 nanogram limit and the separate question of whether or not the person with that level of THC in their blood is actually under the influence. It is not only possible, but it does happen. Drivers who may have consumed marijuana, and unbeknownst to them are above the limit for THC, will be charged with a DUI.
You can also be charged with a DUI for consuming any drug, whether that is an over the counter medication, a prescribed medication, if the officer believes you were under the influence. Unfortunately, it is a very common scenario for people to be arrested & charged with a DUI for not only having THC in their blood but otherwise legally prescribed medication in their system.
If an officer believes you are under the influence and doesn’t believe you are under the influence of alcohol, they will probably want to get a blood sample from you and determine if there is anything that they can tie their observations too. This is a very complex area of the law, an area of science that we have to stay on top of. We would encourage anyone in that situation to put in a request on our website or give us a call. We would be happy to have a conversation with you and discuss the ways we can help.
Washington Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney
Typically, there must be impaired driving or an accident, and suspicion by the officer that you are driving under the influence of marijuana before an arrest can be made. Therefore, the first thing to do to avoid a marijuana DUI arrest is to obey all traffic laws and drive at or just below the speed limit. If you do not get stopped, or get into an accident you can avoid contact with law enforcement.
If you’ve been arrested, speak with a Washington marijuana DUI attorney from Callahan Law, P.S., Inc.
Avoiding an Arrest For Marijuana DUI
Upon contact after a stop or accident, in order to have probable cause to arrest for marijuana DUI, the officer relies upon observations of red, watery or “glassy” eyes, slow movements (e.g., when obtaining license/registration/insurance), slurred speech, and most notably, the unique odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Simple things like using eye drops before driving, having your license easily accessible in your wallet such that you need not struggle to remove it, and having your current insurance card and registration signed and in an easy to get to location that is not cluttered with other documents, can go far to keeping you from getting the cuffs slapped on your wrists.
As to the odor of marijuana, it is not advisable to have marijuana in your vehicle, because officers are trained to smell the drug – and they can do so surprisingly well. But, for example, if you are a medical marijuana patient who needs to transport the drug, keep it in a tightly zipped plastic bag, locked in a container that seals to prevent the odor of marijuana from being detected by the officer during a traffic stop. The container must be locked at all times and should be kept in the trunk or rear area. Without a warrant, or your permission (which you should not give), the officer is not permitted to search any locked containers.
Speak With a Lawyer Before Admitting To Anything
Surprisingly, one of the most common reasons for a marijuana-DUI arrest is the driver admits to having consumed marijuana. It should be understood that when police pull over a vehicle on a traffic stop, they are hoping to find evidence of criminal activity beyond a mere infraction.
Therefore, upon contact, the officer will question you about a number of things to get you to admit to consuming marijuana, alcohol or some other drug, and may even tell you it will be better for you if you “come clean,” or you will not be taken to jail if you cooperate. Regardless of the officer’s coaxing, do not give in. The officer cannot make it any easier on you; after he files the charge, only the prosecutor can recommend leniency. And the officer may not be planning on booking you into the jail anyway. Therefore, your best option is to kindly and respectfully invoke your right to be silent and to speak with a Washington DUI attorney prior to and during any questioning. If you admit to smoking or consuming marijuana you will undoubtedly be arrested and prosecuted for a marijuana DUI.
The officer will next attempt to have you perform “voluntary” standardized field sobriety tests in order to gather evidence to support an arrest for a marijuana DUI. If you’ve been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, submit a free case evaluation to schedule a consultation with Callahan Law, P.S., Inc today. Our marijuana DUI lawyers in Washington are here to help you, so call now.
There Is No Time to Waste!
To speak to a team member from our firm and tell your story in confidence, call us at (206) 866-6739 or complete our contact form here.