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Washington State Police Testing New Marijuana DUI Technology

Posted by Mark Garka | Feb 03, 2016 | 0 Comments

As it stands, marijuana DUI is an offense that is arduous to police and sometimes even harder to prosecute in court. As KING 5 News reports, The Washington State Police recognize this and are looking to finally bring new technology to policing marijuana DUI.

Developing new, accurate technology to detect marijuana DUI has not just been a priority for Washington—where recreational marijuana is now legal-- but numerous places around the world. Most recently, Washington State University showed some promise in the field by announcing a marijuana breathalyzer.

The impaired driving section commander of the WSP, Lt. Rob Sharpe, spoke with KING 5 News about the new technology his department was testing. "Whether it's measuring THC on the breath or in the saliva, some are looking at transdermal applications, so just measuring off of sweat from the body," he revealed. Sharpe also confirmed that the WSP has a full-time librarian dedicated to researching new technology from around the world as it announced to the public.

Marijuana DUI vs Alcohol DUI

Unlike alcohol-related DUI, marijuana DUI protocol has yet to establish an efficient or reliable method of detecting intoxication in suspected drivers. In countless communities, tests are used to detect metabolized marijuana remnants in the bloodstream, but, as opponents point, not only are these remnants not THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana), but they can remain in the user's bloodstream days, even weeks following marijuana use.

Currently in Washington, law enforcement receives drug recognition training to detect marijuana-influenced drivers. They then have to request a warrant to place that driver under arrest and transport him or her to the nearest medical facility for a blood test. The WSP confirmed that, even with the adoption of new technology, the need for a warrant for these DUI stops will remain.

If you are a driver that has been arrested for marijuana DUI, you deserve to have your rights protected before the law. At my firm, the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, clients receive robust, vigilant defense from an experienced former prosecutor. I know the current shortcomings in this particular branch of the law and how to ensure you receive the consideration you deserve.

Don't face this difficult time without a dedicated Snohomish County marijuana DUI defense attorney by your side. Contact me today.

About the Author

Mark Garka

Mark is a solo-practitioner who limits his practice to DUI Defense. During Law School, he worked in the Juvenile Division for the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and he also worked in the Corrections Division at the Attorney General's Office. After completing his degree, he clerked...


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