Posts tagged marijuana DUI lawyer

The Washington State Patrol releases “Drive High, Get a DUI” Campaign

Last month, the Washington State Patrol began their new campaign, “Drive High, Get a DUI,” to educate the public that it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.  The slogan, “Drive High, Get A DUI” was written to be straight forward and clear, warning drivers that if they are under the influence of marijuana while driving than they could be arrested and charged with DUI.  The campaign officially began on July 1st to coincide with the first day marijuana retail stores opened their doors to the general public.

While marijuana seems to be the primary focus of the campaign, “Drive High, Get A DUI” also applies to other drugs and substances that produce a high effect.  “We see a lot of folks that are impaired by glue, by paint, by prescription and non prescription medication,” said Washington State Trooper, Jeff Sevigney.  Any driver that is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, drugs, and/or substances could be arrested and charged with DUI.  “The bottom line is don’t drive while you’re impaired,” warns Trooper Sevigney.

In effort to enforce the campaign, Washington State law enforcement agencies have increased their officer training programs to help them better identify individuals that are under the influence of marijuana, drugs, and/or substances.  The sheer number of troopers and patrol units on the streets has also been increased and will be maintained throughout the summer.

“Procedures are still the same.  Troopers are looking for drivers that are under the influence,” explains Trooper Sevigney. “We recommend that you don’t carry it in your vehicle because if I smell marijuana in your vehicle I’m going to instantly make sure nobody is impaired while they’re driving,” said Sevigney.

If charged with a marijuana, drug, or substance DUI, the consequences are the same as an alcohol related DUI, which include possible jail time, monetary fines and fees, and loss of driver’s license.

Contact the experienced DUI lawyers at David O Defense if you have been charged with a DUI, 206-459-6392, the legal consultation is free.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

Seattle Space Needle, Seattle Sculpture Park

“DUI Policy Day” – For Lawmakers in Olympia

This past Tuesday, lawmakers in Olympia Washington had an unofficial “DUI Policy Day” to review and discuss House Bills 2344, 2506, 2507,  2503,and 2728.  The bills will provide clarity to unclear current DUI laws and will also stiffen penalties for repeat DUI offenders.

House Judiciary Committee chairman, Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland lead the discussion on bills.  Bill 2344 became a fiery debate.  2344 would require the Department of Licensing to mail out reminders of installation of an ignition interlock device to individuals who have been convicted of a DUI.  The ignition interlock device prevents drunk driving by requiring the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before their car will start.  Additionally, the bill stated that if an individual bought a new car to circumvent placing an ignition interlock device into their car they would be charged with a gross misdemeanor.  Republican Chad Magendanz, supporter and sponsor of Bill 2344, said it’s “absolutely clear,” this bill will prevent accidents and will detour individuals from buying a new car to escape placement of an ignition interlock device into their current car.  DUI defense attorneys and other opponents of 2344 exclaimed the bill was vague and way too costly at a projected 6 million to print and send ignition interlock reminders.  Goodman stated the cost “might put the bill in jeopardy.”

Bill 2506 requires Class C DUI felonies to be upgraded to Class B felonies.  The change in class would not increase sentencing ranges but would enhance post prison supervision on individuals that have an extensive criminal history.  Amy Freidheim, a King County prosecutor, said  this bill would only affect about a half-dozen people in King County over the past seven years.  Thus, bill 2506 would change post-jail conditions for approximately one person in King County each year.

Bill 2507 enhances penalties for individuals that have committed at least two DUI related vehicular homicides.  For the very very small number of individuals that fall into this category, they would have substantial increased jail time.

Bills 2503 and 2728 are primary technical changes, including or excluding wording.  However, the bills do include the ability for law enforcement to conduct blood draws from individuals that contest taking the alcohol breath tests.  Law enforcement would no longer require a warrant for the blood draw.

In addition to these 5 bills, Roger Goodman brought up several other DUI crack down ideas which included random DUI checkpoints.  Most of the ideas were quickly thrown out due to cost or overall ineffectiveness.  Marijuana DUI discussions were also heard.  Activists were voicing their disagreement with I-502 making it a crime to drive with five nanograms of THC (the active component in marijuana) in an individuals blood stream.  Their thoughts were five nanaograms was too low of a limit and that many law-abiding medical marijuana users have more than that in their bloodstreams and still physically and mentally function at levels safe enough to operate a car.

 

Written by S.O

 

How The Seattle Police Department Will Enforce Marijuana Laws

In less than a month, on December 6th 2013, it will be legal in Washington State for an individual to possess and smoke marijuana.  Any individual age 21 or older may legally carry up to an ounce of marijuana (or 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused product, like cookies, or 72 ounces of infused liquid, like oil) for personal use.  And with these news laws coming into effect soon, it is important to know how Seattle police along with other city police officers will enforce these laws.

The Seattle Police Department has a blog article, “Marijawhatnow? A Guide To Marijuana Use” describes the police departments understanding of initiative I-502 and the measures that will be taken by law enforcement to uphold these laws.  The article was written in question and answer form which makes it easy to understand in everyday applications.

Here are some of the key highlights you should know to avoid being arrested by police:

Can I legally carry around an ounce of marijuana?

According to the recently passed initiative, beginning December 6th, adults over the age of 21 will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Please note that the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana…in view of the general public,” so there’s that. Also, you probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property).

Can I grow marijuana in my home and sell it to my friends, family, and co-workers?

Not right now. In the future, under state law, you may be able to get a license to grow or sell marijuana.

Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

What happens if I get pulled over and an officer thinks I’ve been smoking pot?

If an officer believes you’re DUI (driving under the influence) of anything, they will conduct a field sobriety test and may consult with a drug recognition expert. If officers establish probable cause, they will bring you to a precinct and ask your permission to draw your blood for testing. If officers have reason to believe you’re under the influence of something, they can get a warrant for a blood draw from a judge. If you’re in a serious accident, then a blood draw will be mandatory.

What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?

Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

Will SPD assist federal law enforcement in investigations of marijuana users or marijuana-related businesses, that are allowed under I-502?

No. Officers and detectives will not participate in an investigation of anything that’s not prohibited by state law.

I’m under 21. What happens if I get caught smoking pot?

It’s a violation of state law. It may be referred to prosecutors, just like if you were a minor in possession of alcohol.

If you have any further questions pertaining to the new marijuana laws or have been recently arrested for possession of marijuana or DUI of marijuana contact our criminal defense attorneys at David O Defense 206-459-6392 today.

The above Q&A’s were derived from the article “Marijawhatnow? A Guide To Marijuana Use” was written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, and can be found on spdblotter.seattle.gov.
 

 

David O Defense
2211 Elliott Avenue, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98121
Tel: 206.459.6392
Fax: 888.615.0237
Email: david@davidodefense.com

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