How do you think the new marijuana law will affect Washington drivers?
Remember that a DUI is a DUI — Driving Under the Influence, influence of what does not matter.
If you are cited for impaired driving you will probably lose your licence.
Getting it back will cost you and will affect your auto insurance rates since you will have that infraction on your record and you will have to have an SR-22 filed with the state by your insurance agent.
Don’t drive stupified!
According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) recent media advisory:
However, it is unlikely that we will have much to report tomorrow regarding immediate effects of the new marijuana law. In particular, there will be no way to tell how many people troopers might have contacted with less than an ounce of marijuana and who were NOT arrested. It’s fundamental that we don’t keep tabs on people engaged in legal conduct.
It will take a month to six weeks to have completed trooper time sheets that might indicate a change in the number of arrests for possession. However, trooper timesheets only indicate “drug arrests,” they do not indicate the type of drug involved. So even this might not be definitive.
With respect to impaired driving, we hope you’ve all heard our mantra by now: We’ve always arrested impaired drivers regardless of the drug involved. It has always been a crime to drive while impaired by drugs whether they be illegal, legal or even medically prescribed. This new law does not change how troopers will determine impairment at the side of the road.
The THC level in a suspect’s blood will not be known for days or weeks after the roadside contact. That will be an issue for prosecutors and defense attorneys not troopers.
We know that this change is newsworthy to you, and it’s always WSP’s goal to accommodate media needs and interview requests. Please feel free to check in at any time, but we don’t anticipate having a lot to report out in the next few days.
Washington State Patrol
Office of Government and Media Relations