Marijuana and Drug Related DUI: Washington law prohibits driving under the influence of not only intoxicating alcohol and/or liquor but also drugs. While an alcohol or liquor related DUI is the most common type of DUI charge a person can face in Washington State, many individuals are charged with driving while being under the influence of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and/or methamphetamine. Washington drivers have even been charged and convicted for DUI in Western Washington because of their ingestion of prescription medications and over the counter medicines such as cough syrup and cold medicines in combination with alcohol and/or other illegal drugs. As crazy as it may sound, it is not a lawful defense to a DUI that one was only taking legal prescription medicine(s) or over the counter drug(s) when he/she were stopped by law enforcement. All drug related DUI charges need to be taken as seriously as alcohol/ liquor related DUI charges. A person arrested in Western Washington for a drug related DUI charge should immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney and/or a Bellevue DUI attorney as soon as possible.
There are some major differences in how drug DUI charges are investigated and proven versus alcohol/ liquor related DUI charges are investigated and proven. First, an officer with some “extra training” may be called to the scene. This type of officer is called a “drug recognition expert” (DRE). Although this officer is not necessarily an “expert”, his opinions have the tendency of adding more validity to the investigation and final police report. Second, once a decision has been made by law enforcement that there is impairment due to drugs other than alcohol, it is likely that the person will be arrested and taken to a hospital for a blood draw, not a police station for a breath test. Although a breath test is generally required first under Washington law, under these types of settings an officer may be able to by-pass a breath test and immediately seek a blood draw. Refusal to submit to a properly requested blood draw will have the same effects that a refusal to submit to a breath test would otherwise have on an individual’s life. Third, Washington marijuana or drug DUI charges are for the most part proven differently than alcohol/ liquor related DUI charges; unlike alcohol/ liquor related DUI charges, drug related DUI charges require that impairment be proven. Finally, the Washington Department of Licensing only gets involved in an administrative capacity if a person refuses a lawfully requested blood test. A positive blood draw, regardless of the levels found or the substances discovered, do not implicate an administrative license suspension.
A person facing a Marijuana and Drug Related DUI charge in Western Washington should contact a qualified Seattle DUI attorney and/or Bellevue DUI attorney as soon as possible. Marijuana and other drug related DUI charges may be different in terms of how they are investigated and proven, but the ramifications and consequences of these types of charges are the same as if the charge was an alcohol/ liquor related DUI charge. SQ Attorneys is a highly skilled and experienced team of practitioners immensely dedicated to aggressively protecting the rights and interests of those accused of DUI. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that their client’s integrity and overarching humanity, as well as the totality of the facts and circumstances related to the allegations, are considered in creating a just, fair and equitable resolution.
If you or a loved one is charged with Driving Under the Influence in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.