States across the country continue to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Subsequently, they are slowly defining what constitutes impairment for purposes of marijuana-related DUI crimes. While some states have marijuana DUI laws that predate legalization, such laws may be antiquated and unsuitable. The courts are often reluctant to overturn existing laws, however, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Washington state court in which it upheld a defendant’s marijuana-related DUI conviction. If you are charged with a marijuana-related DUI crime, it is prudent to speak with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer to determine your possible defenses.
The Washington Ruling
It is reported that the police pulled over a man in Washington state after they observed him driving his vehicle erratically. After he was stopped by the police, the man admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day but stated he no longer felt impaired. After he submitted to field sobriety tests, he was arrested; he subsequently underwent a blood test that revealed his THC level to be almost twice the legal limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter. He was subsequently charged with and convicted of DUI.
Allegedly, the man appealed, arguing in part that the applicable statute imposed vague and arbitrary standards with regard to the legal THC limit. While the justices presiding over the matter agreed that it was difficult to pin down the correlation between impairment and THC levels, blood measurements still provided a constitutionally acceptable and useful measurement tool. Thus, they upheld his conviction. Continue reading →