A Marijuana DUI is very similar to an alcohol-based DUI. Both are serious charges with serious consequences. It is important you take this form of DUI just as seriously as an alcohol-related DUI. While the marijuana DUI might not get nearly as much publicity in the media as its brother, prosecutors will treat them the same. Both have a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, there is mandatory jail, a drug and alcohol evaluation, treatment, probation, license suspension, and an ignition interlock.
Most people are familiar with the alcohol per se legal limit of .08 when it comes to DUIs. However, very few people realize there is now an “equivalent” when it comes to marijuana - a THC level of 5 ng/mL. Whether you are actually “impaired” at that level is up for debate, but the reality is that is now the legal limit. For people who ingest marijuana, whether through smoking or eating, it is especially important to be cautious. The strength of different strains is not nearly as clear cut as the alcohol content on a beer label. Additionally, there is no general rule of thumb as to how much you can ingest over what period of time to remain under the legal limit. Early indications appear to show the 5 ng/mL threshold is actually quite low and can be very easily reached, especially for regular users.
Just like with an alcohol-related DUI, you will also face a Department of Licensing action. An arrest will lead to your license being scheduled to be suspended 60 days from the date of arrest for a period of 90 days unless you request the hearing. It is important that you request the hearing within 20 days from the date of arrest; otherwise, you lose your right to the hearing.
If you are facing a marijuana-related DUI, do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation with one of our experienced Washington DUI attorneys.