Close X

DUI Blog

Survey: Drugged Driving a Problem in Washington, U.S.

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Nov 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Washington State is garnering a lot of nationwide attention now that voters in the state approved a measure that would legalize sales of small amounts of marijuana. Another aspect of Initiative 502 hot in the media is the codification of a level of THC (the psychoactive component in pot) in the bloodstream above which a driver will be charged with DUI.

You may not be surprised to learn that Washington is among the states with the highest levels of admitted "drugged driving." According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration taken between 2006 and 2009, Washington ranks 18th on the list of drugged driving states, with 4.9 percent of survey respondents indicating that they had driven a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or some other drug at least once during the previous 12 months

That puts us in a tie with Nevada and Minnesota - but still well behind the top state of Rhode Island (with a rate of 7.8 percent). However, the new Washington statute will maintain a zero-tolerance marijuana policy for drivers under the age of 21. Which is why the following study is so discouraging.

Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance commissioned a survey this year of some 2,300 teens in 11th and 12th grade. The research found that 20 percent of respondents claimed to have driven under the influence of marijuana at some point - and more than 1/3 of the teens did not think that pot had any adverse effects on their driving. But under the new Washington law, these teens can be charged with DUI if any marijuana is found in their system - regardless of whether the teens felt that pot affected their driving.

Do you feel that marijuana affects your driving or have you observed that other people's driving was affected by marijuana?  How about compared to alcohol?

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

We Want To Hear From You

Your story matters. We want to hear from you. Call 206-971-0067 for a free consultation

Hundreds of Thrilled Clients

While my traffic case was minor, I didn't want to go it alone. My friend recommended Kevin to me. From the first phone conversation til it was resolved, Kevin and his team were pure perfection! This is the team you want on your side. Period. - K.M.