Washington Marijuana DUI's on the Increase?

The Washington State Patrol claims there has been almost a 25% jump from last year in drivers that tested positive for having active marijuana in their system.  1,362 drivers tested positive for active THC.  720 of those 1,362 had levels in their system high enough to lead to an automatic drugged-driving charge under the state’s legalized marijuana law.  Interestingly, however, there has not been an obvious corresponding jump in car accidents.

Over the past year Washington has also seen a spike in drivers testing positive for inactive marijuana in their system.  The inactive compound for marijuana is called ‘carboxy THC’.  Having carboxy THC in one’s system means the person used marijuana within days or weeks of his arrest, but that he is no longer impaired by it.

Washington state toxicologist, Dr. Fiona Cooper, recently claimed that 60 percent of the folks who tested positive for carboxy THC in 2013, also tested positive for at least one other substance in their system, usually the substance was alcohol.  In short, more Washington state drivers tested positive in 2013 than in years past.  Undoubtedly, this increase can be attributed to Washington’s legalization of marijuana.  Some (like, Alison Holcomb, the Seattle lawyer who drafted Washington’s legal pot law) are actually calling for an immediate public education campaign to highlight the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana.  Colorado, the only other state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, launched a $1 million television campaign this past week.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI attorney is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI attorney to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

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