DUI for Marijuana Intoxication in Tacoma, Washington

In January 2013, the State of Washington legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Since that time, hundreds of drivers have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana. Washington’s DUI laws include harsh penalties for even first-time offenders. A marijuana DUI conviction can be a devastating experience for an individual and his or her family.

You may face jail time, substantial fines and a suspension of your driver’s license if convicted of marijuana DUI. These penalties can have a ripple effect on your personal life, family and career. An arrest for DUI for marijuana warrants taking swift action. A strong defense may help you protect your rights and minimize the impact of your charges.

We respect how stressful a marijuana DUI can be for you and your loved ones. Our firm treats such cases with the care and dedication they deserve. Below, you will find answers to some of the questions we commonly hear from clients with cases similar to your own.

Can I be arrested and charged with DUI for using marijuana?

Washington’s DUI laws are not limited to those driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.502 specifically identifies marijuana as an intoxicating substance for which a driver may be guilty of DUI.

The DUI law states people are guilty of DUI if:

  • they are driving a vehicle in the state; and
  • an analysis of their blood reveals a THC concentration of 5.00 nanograms per milliliter of blood or higher within two hours of driving.

Note that the court may use as evidence the analysis of blood taken more than two hours after the alleged DUI incident. In fact, test results that show a THC concentration greater than 0.00 may be used against you.

Your legal right to consume marijuana for recreational or medical purposes is not considered a valid defense. However, your attorney may offer other options for mounting a defense of your charges.

What are the penalties for a marijuana DUI conviction?

You may face penalties in two separate arenas:

  • a criminal prosecution for the crime of driving while under the influence of marijuana; and
  • administrative actions by the Department of Licensing (specifically, the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license).

The severity of penalties varies with the severity of your alleged DUI incident and any previous record of driving while under the influence. The criminal courts use the “DUI sentencing grid” – as outlined via RCW 46.61.5055 – to determine appropriate penalties, which may include:

  • jail time;
  • fines;
  • driver’s license suspension or revocation; and
  • more.

Potential criminal penalties depend on the circumstances of your case. For instance, a third-time offender who causes an accident will face much steeper penalties than a first-time DUI offender who causes no property damage or injuries. An attorney can examine the facts of your case to advise you on the likely penalties you will face.

I’m ready to fight the DUI charges against me. Who can help me with this?

Exercise your right to hire a defense attorney. Contact Daryl Graves Law in Tacoma to schedule a case consultation at no charge – (253) 383-7777.

Free Consultation

Daryl Graves Law, PLLC practices primarily in the areas of criminal defense law and personal injury. If you are seeking representation in one of these, or simply have a question that you would like to ask an attorney, feel free to call Daryl Graves Law, PLLC at 253-383-7777 or complete the form below.