Drug and Marijuana DUI Charges

Many people in Washington are now being arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs like Ambien, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, and even drugs like Wellbutrin and Zoloft, or drugs like marijuana.   Sometimes a blood test will show prescriptions drugs in combination with alcohol or other drugs and sometimes the prescription drug alone is present. Prescription medications and legal substances can give rise to big problems when combined with driving.

Although the state hires “experts” to try to show the jury that the ingested substance is an intoxicating substance, the state’s witnesses are often biased and not always fully educated on the science.  Many prescription medications can be considered mind-altering, but they do not alter a person’s thinking in a way that would negatively affect driving.  Unfortunately, stress, lack of sleep, distraction and other very human issues can cause bad driving and lead police to jump to conclusions about the effects of a prescription medication on a person’s driving.

These cases present special challenges and not all attorneys are equipped to handle the atypical scientific and legal issues related to legal and illegal drugs.  Washington law is very specific as to the amount of alcohol that would definitively constitute intoxication (the per se level of intoxication is .08 or above) and THC (5 nanograms or higher).

However, Washington law is much less specific when it comes to other drugs.  In fact, Washington is one of very few states whose drug DUI laws do not define specific drugs that will form a basis for a DUI charge, nor does the law specify what level of prescription or non-prescription drugs in a person’s system would be considered a level sufficient to constitute intoxication.  This is typically left up the arresting officers and to the Washington State Patrol’s toxicology lab scientists who may rely on biased studies to form their conclusions.

The vagueness of Washington’s drug DUI laws also give rise to potential constitutional and other legal problems. We aggressively litigate these cutting-edge issues.  We emphasize using motions to strive for better outcomes in DUI cases.  These motions may involve issues relating to the evidence that may be used, how information may or may not be presented to the jury, and even whether parts of the laws are even constitutional.

To speak with Ms. Dalton or one of our lawyers by phone or schedule an appointment, call 360-213-0013. For emergency situations, after regular business hours, call our office and our message will give you our cell phone number.  Or for additional contacts click here.

We make ourselves personally available as soon as possible for DUI and related charges.