WASHINGTON – April 20 or 4/20 is known as a day to smoke marijuana. While smoking weed is legal in Washington State, driving under its influence isn’t. Law Enforcement agencies are reminding people to make a plan to get home before smoking.
There are many stories about how 4/20 became known as a day for smoking pot, however, no one is really sure. More important to know is the amount of people that get into car wrecks because they were driving under the influence.
According to Trooper Chris Thorson of Washington State Patrol, in the first half of 2021 nearly 20 thousand people died in car crashes. Between 2009 and 2018, the amount of drivers that died in car crashes that had marijuana in their system doubled.
Many people also faced arrests for driving under in the influence in our district ranging from Yakima to Walla Walla. In 2020, 105 DUI drug arrests were made. In 2021, 91 DUI drug arrests were made.
According to RCW 46.61.502, a person is driving under the influence of marijuana if they have a concentrate of 5.00 nanograms in their system.
According to the The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board it can take three hours for some people to drop below 5.00 nanograms depending on their gender and size. However, they recommend waiting five hours after smoking marijuana before driving or longer if the person took an edible.
Trooper Thorson said every person is different so it’s safer if they make ride accommodations.
“If you’re going to a house party or smoke at your house and go to a friends house just set up a way to get home prior to smoking,” Thorson said.
According to Thorson, if you are pulled over for impaired driving, WSP will preform a series of sobriety tests like they would with alcohol. If the trooper conducting the stop has reason to believe the driver is under the influence of a drug, they’ll request a warrant for a blood test within sixty minutes of the stop.
“If you’re feeling a little high, buzzed or stoned, never get behind the wheel, if you do so, you run the risk of getting arrested for DUI,” Thorson said.
If you multiple DUI offenses, you could face other consequences like losing your license, additional fines or having to take a drug and alcohol course.
Article Source: Fox 11