Recreational marijuana is legal in Washington state, so many people smoke, vape or consume edibles containing THC. Like alcohol, marijuana might be legal for adults, but the substance might cause impairments. Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous, but some do so anyway.
Marijuana-based impaired driving
Under Washington law, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Similarly, it is unlawful for anyone 21 years of age to drive with 5 ng/ml of THC in the blood. For those under 21, it is illegal to drive after using marijuana at any level of marijuana in the blood.
That said, even someone over 21 with a small amount of marijuana in the system could pose a danger to people on the road. Marijuana may affect reactions and perceptions, increasing the potential for a collision. Many DUI-related accidents result in fatalities, so avoiding driving after ingesting any amount of alcohol or marijuana might be the safest plan.
DUI arrests and charges
If the police notice a vehicle operating suspiciously, they may pull over the car and investigate. When the police suspect someone of a DUI, a field sobriety test would follow. Persons arrested for a DUI may face charges that could result in fines, jail time and other sanctions upon conviction.
Persons arrested for a DUI might mount a compelling defense in court. Issues with the arrest and tests, such as lack of probable cause or improperly conducting a field sobriety or lab blood test, may render evidence inadmissible.