Can a medical marijuana cardholder be charged with a DUI?

In the state of Washington, medical marijuana cardholders are not immune from marijuana laws. This means that medical marijuana cardholders cannot operate a vehicle if they are over the legal limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

If you are pulled over under the influence of marijuana, you can still be charged with a DUI even if you are under the legal limit. This is because Washington law does not require a jury to presume you were impaired at the legal limit. Marijuana affects everyone differently based on factors like weight and metabolism, so you could be considered impaired even if you consume less than the legal limit.

Man Driving

How do I avoid a marijuana DUI?

If you do consume marijuana for medical purposes, there are still several options for safe travel to avoid getting a DUI:

  • Know your limit. Just like when taking a new medicine, as a new medical marijuana user you are advised to wait to drive until you know how the drug will affect you.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to give you a ride if you need to run an errand after consuming the marijuana.
  • Call a taxi or Uber driver.
  • Just like alcohol, wait until the effects of the marijuana have worn off before you attempt to drive.

And remember, if you are under the age of 21, you will get a DUI if you consume marijuana and operate a vehicle while under the influence, regardless of the amount.

Know Your Rights

Much like when you are suspected of an alcohol DUI, you are not required to complete a field sobriety test at the scene. If you are suspected of being under the influence of marijuana, an officer will ask you to submit to drug recognition evaluation. This test is voluntary. It is in your best interest to politely refuse these tests until speaking with an attorney. A law enforcement officer can, however, call a judge to get a search warrant to test and search for marijuana possession or usage.

What can I do if I was charged with a marijuana DUI in Washington?

There are several things you should do if you are charged with a marijuana DUI. First of all, try not to panic. At The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we understand that mistakes happen, and that’s why we’re here to help.

It may feel like there is nothing you can do after a charge like this, but the truth is you have many options. Contacting a Tacoma, Washington, marijuana DUI attorney as soon as possible can help you discover the options that best fit your personal situation.

Our Washington Attorneys Can Help

Here at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we always make it a priority to stay up to date on the latest developments in Washington marijuana law. Your driving privileges and rights are on the line, and we don’t take this lightly. As our client, we will advocate for you with the professionalism, precision, and zeal you deserve. Give us a call at our office today.