But this year's July Target Zero program has a slightly different flavor than years past - and it tastes a lot like marijuana (brownies).
As you've undoubtedly heard, the first licensed recreational marijuana retailers will be open for business as early as next week. It would stand to reason that pot use in July might be a bit more common or widespread than in months past. With that in mind, the Washington State Patrol is expanding its goal to target not only drivers who consume alcohol but also those who consume marijuana.
The Target Zero patrols are funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. That agency also released 30-second television commercials as part of an awareness campaign called "Drive High, Get a DUI." The ads outline marijuana-related behaviors that are now legal, but emphasizes that driving under the influence of pot is not. To review, Initiative 502 now permits anyone above the age of 21 to possess:
- up to an ounce of pot
- up to 16 ounces of a marijuana-infused edible, candy, or other non-liquid item
- up to 72 ounces (or two quarts and one cup) of a marijuana-infused liquid beverageIt is still a finable offense to consume marijuana in any form in public.
In past years, the Target Zero enforcement patrols wound up after the July 4th weekend. But it's a near-certainty that 2014's initiative will extend well into July given the imminent opening of recreational pot stores in the state. So be sure and exercise caution this whole month when driving in Washington if you have recently drunk alcohol or consumed marijuana.