Marijuana DUI Statistics

After the passage of the marijuana initiative in Washington last year, there has been a record number of marijuana DUI arrests. Statistics released by the Washington State Patrol show that in the first 6 months of the new law 745 drivers that were pulled over for suspicion of DUI tested positive for marijuana’s active ingredient THC in their blood. Of those over have had over the legal limit: 5 nanograms per millilitre. This a twofold increase of drivers testing positive for THC compared to previous years.

Colorado and Washington are the only two states that permit recreational marijuana use. Both states have a DUI component to that law that makes driving with a Blood THC concentration of over 5 nanograms per millilitre illegal. A blood concentration over this limit is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration over .08. This creates a presumption that you are impaired at this level, regardless of your actual ability to drive.

In Washington there is a zero tolerance standard for drivers under 21 for THC. Unlike alcohol, which has a limit of .02 on the breath test, the THC standard is far stricter. This creates an incentive for police officers to investigate minor drivers who may not be exhibiting signs of poor driving. Because active THC remains in the system over 24 hours, any trace amounts in the bloodstream of a person under 21 will make them susceptible to prosecution.

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