Washington voters passed an initiative measure legalizing recreational marijuana in November 2012. The law took effect January 2013. The initiative, I-502, decriminalized the possession and use of pot and changed the state’s DUI law.
Since then, hundreds of drivers around Washington, including in Vancouver, have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Even a first-time offense may result in harsh penalties for DUI.
Since the legalization of pot in Washington, the Revised Code of Washington 46.61.502 identifies pot as a substance for which drivers may be convicted of DUI.
The long-term consequences of DUI can be devastating: fines, jail time and a suspension of your driver’s license are just the beginning. The results of a conviction can have a lasting and profound effect on your life.
If you’ve been charged with a marijuana DUI, protect your rights by hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Vancouver, Washington. The experienced marijuana DUI lawyers of Northwest Legal Advocates help you make the best of a bad situation.
How Is Marijuana DUI Determined?
The law says you are guilty of DUI when you drive a vehicle in Washington with a THC concentration of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or higher within two hours of driving. Officials determine the level of THC through a blood sample analysis.
Concentrations of THC below 5 nanograms per milliliter may still be used as evidence against a defendant. If the prosecution can prove a driver was impaired, even with a THC concentration below 5 nanograms per milliliter, the driver may be found guilty.
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana DUI?
You may face criminal prosecution for DUI, and the Washington Department of Licensing could suspend or revoke your driver’s license.
If found guilty, the penalties will vary. The circumstances of the incident and your criminal and driving record will influence your sentence. For example, if an impaired driver has an accident and someone is hurt, the judge could hand down a severe penalty. Repeat offenses may also yield a harsh penalty. A first-time offender who has not been involved in an accident might receive a light sentence.
Criminal courts in Vancouver use a DUI sentencing grid. These are guidelines for determining penalties. If convicted, you could face:
- Jail time
- Revoked driver’s license
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, you need the help of a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. An experienced attorney helps you navigate the legal system and watches out for your best interests.
Criminal Defense Lawyers in Vancouver, Washington
If you’ve been charged with DUI, you have the right to an attorney. The lawyers at Northwest Legal Advocates in Vancouver, Washington can advise you of your legal rights and help you mount a defense.
Contact us for a consultation.