New ICW and THC arguments are not getting BACs suppressed
DUI Attorneys are an interesting sort. There are only so many different ways to challenge a DUI. The big four typically involve the stop, the arrest, the miranda/warnings, and the breath test. Most of the legal challenges to a DUI involve constitutional issues but sometimes other issues arise under more creative challenges. The latest challenge to breath tests in Washington State was a novel idea, but ultimately it has fallen flat on it’s face after its been rejected in most of the Courts it has been raised.
The basic issue is when Washington State legalized Marijuana at the end of 2012 and it created a legal limit for DUIs involving THC. The warnings involving that legal limit should be read as part of the basic warnings which already get read to a suspect when it comes to a DUI involving alcohol. And because the new statutory language involving marijuana DUI’s is not read to a suspect the implied consent warnings are incomplete and therefore the breath test should be suppressed. Obviously there is more to it but for the purposes of this DUI blog I have just summarized the gist of it.
Many DUI Attorneys around Washington State were optimistic this would turn into another Ann Marie Gordon type issue where breath tests would be thrown out state wide. And to be honest with you I was one of them. But in the end like most unorthodox arguments involving DUIs it was a road to nowhere. In fact from what I hear the largest Prosecutors office in the State was never even concerned about it and often times had law students argue the motion because they knew it would never get granted. Talk about cockiness. But hey you have to respect that type of thinking.
So in the end the best way to get a breath test suppressed is not by making this THC incomplete ICW argument. But the old standbys. Whether the test was administered properly. Whether the suspect understood all the rights concerning the test. And whether there was a sufficient basis to even ask the suspect to take the test.
If you have been arrested for a Seattle DUI there is not going to be a quick fix to beat the charge. This isn’t 2007 when all BACs were thrown out and any Joe Schmo off the street could get a Neg 1 regardless of what the breath test said. Times are different and if you’re facing a serious charge like a DUI then you need a serious defense.