Marijuana DUI Blood Tests
If you drive in the state of Washington, you are presumed to have consented to a breath test once you are lawfully arrested. If you refuse, you can lose your license. However, there is no breath test for a marijuana DUI. Usually, the chemical test used when a marijuana DUI is suspected in Washington is a blood test. Although the initial steps of a marijuana DUI stop may seem similar to an alcohol-related DUI, these stops and arrests are different. Marijuana DUI blood test results can significantly affect the outcome of your case. The Tacoma marijuana DUI lawyers at Smith & White can review the evidence in your case and develop a strong defense strategy for you.Marijuana DUI Blood Tests
Whether you submitted to testing and were found to be high, you refused testing, or you were subject to a search warrant for blood samples, your license will be suspended or revoked by the Department of Licensing. This action will be taken regardless of which criminal proceeding has been instituted. You can ask for a hearing to challenge the action, and if your request is timely and you are successful, you may be able to overturn the decision. In general, the consequences of refusing a test are usually more severe than if you take the test and do not pass it.
In order to pull you over for a marijuana DUI, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. A reasonable suspicion is more than a mere hunch; it includes clear reasons that the officer can articulate to the court. Once the officer has detained you, they will be investigating and then looking for probable cause to arrest you for a marijuana DUI. Signs of marijuana impairment to which the police will be alert include the smell of marijuana, the appearance of a joint, bloodshot eyes, irregular speech, and other physical signs that you are high.
You will likely be asked to submit to a chemical test. The most reliable chemical test for marijuana is a blood test. The blood test may be accurate regarding whether you have THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in your system. A blood test will not show whether you smoked, vaped, or ate marijuana. In Washington, if you are at least 21 years old, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI if there are five nanograms per milliliter of blood of active THC.
Law enforcement officers may get a warrant to draw your blood if you refuse to take the blood test. After the warrant is obtained, you will be taken to a hospital to have your blood drawn. The blood will be sent to a toxicology lab to be tested. You can be convicted based on the results of a marijuana DUI blood test. However, the limit of five ng/ml for marijuana in Washington is not necessarily correlated to impairment. Often, THC lingers in the body because it is stored and takes a long time to be released.
No warrant is necessary if there is a valid waiver of the warrant requirement or if exigent circumstances exist. Blood drawn for the purpose of determining marijuana levels is drawn lawfully under RCW 46.20.308 if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you were in physical control of a vehicle or driving a vehicle under the influence or in violation of RCW 46.61.502. If a test is administered that shows that your THC concentration is over 0.00, you are under age 21, or you refused to submit to a test, the arresting officer at whose direction the test was administered or the Department can serve notice of its intention to deny, revoke, or suspend your driver’s license, privilege, or permit to drive. Notice of your right to a hearing needs to be served on you in writing. The notice should specify which steps you need to take to get a hearing. Driving on a suspended or revoked license is also a crime, so it can be important to take steps to avoid a suspension or revocation with the help of an experienced attorney in a timely fashion.Consult a Tacoma Attorney After a Marijuana DUI Stop
If you are arrested for a marijuana DUI, and you have taken a blood test, you can ask the attorneys at the Law Offices of Smith & White to explain what the results may mean and what your options are under the circumstances. We represent people in the Tacoma area and throughout Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties. Contact us at (253) 203-1645 or through our online form.