Marijuana DUIs in Washington State

(Everything You Need to Know – Part 2)

In our last post, we broke down what a marijuana DUI is in Washington state, and how to best navigate interaction with the police if you are stopped in your vehicle after consuming any cannabis.  In this article, we take the scenario one step further: What happens if you are eventually charged with a marijuana DUI?

First and foremost, we have to repeat that you should be very, VERY careful driving after consuming marijuana products, in any form and in any amount.  Like we said before, our advice is simply just DON’T.  Have a zero tolerance policy for yourself (like alcohol!) and don’t drive ever after you’ve consumed.  It is extremely easy to get a marijuana DUI because you have no way of measuring what amount will end up in your bloodstream because it’s different for every person and 5ng/ml is the limit.  Just don’t mess with it: plain and simple. Take an Uber, take a Lyft, take a flying horse – just don’t drive.

But if you do consume and then drive, do it with extreme caution and our number saved.  And here’s what you should know if you get charged:

What are the consequences on your license after a DUI charge?

Typically, within 7 days of a DUI stop, you must request a hearing with the Department of Licensing to review whether a suspension is appropriate in your case. The DOL will suspend your license for 90 days if your blood shows above 5 ng of active THC. Since it could take several months to receive the results of a blood draw on a DUI stop, you may have more time after the actual stop to request the suspension hearing – if that’s the case you need to respond within 7 days of receiving the results. If you fail to respond within those seven days, your license will automatically be suspended for the 90 days.

 

What happens if I am charged with DUI?

If you are charged with DUI, you will first have to appear at the court’s arraignment calendar. There the judge may impose pre-trial conditions, which typically mean that you cannot do certain things, like: no driving without a valid license and insurance, requirement of an ignition interlock device, no other criminal charges, no consumption of alcohol or marijuana, a promise to appear to all future hearings, and even bail.

 

What are the consequences of DUI conviction?

A DUI conviction for marijuana carries the same punishments as for an alcohol DUI. There is a mandatory minimum of at least 1 day in jail, $350 or more fine, a 90-day license suspension, ignition interlock in your vehicle, alcohol/drug evaluation and treatment, and 5 years of probation and court monitoring.

 

Can you get a marijuana DUI expunged in the future?

Unfortunately, as with an alcohol DUI, you cannot. However, for DUI charges that are amended to lesser charges, you may be able to get the charge vacated from your record 10 years after all conditions (including the probation period) of the case end.  So think twice before entering into a guilty plea to DUI!  This is a good reason to have a lawyer who knows what they’re doing and will put time and intention into defending your case.

If you still have questions or are potentially facing a DUI charge, speak to an attorney right away.  Time is of the essence in these cases, and the sooner you can get the ball rolling in your defense, the better.  Call us at (206) 777-5627 or email me directly at  andre@dayanilawfirm.com. We are happy to answer any questions and consultations are always free.

Andre Dayani is lead criminal defense attorney at Dayani Law Firm. He works with his wife and law partner Lauren. 

 

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