Seattle DUI Prosecutors make interesting comments in recent tv interview

A recent interview by KIRO 7 News here in Seattle revealed some interesting tidbits about Seattle juries and whether they understand what it means to drive high.  Several City Prosecutors were asking about some Marijuana DUI trials that happened in Seattle and their responses were a little interesting.  Suggesting some defendants were found not guilty because the juries didn’t understand what it means to drive high.

One of the Prosecutors was quoted along the lines that because marijuana is legal now people think it is okay for them to drive.  And to be honest with you there is probably some truth that.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had recently with people looking for a Marijuana DUI Attorney and the first thing out of their mouth is “how can I be charged with a Marijuana DUI isn’t it legal now.”

And this misconception was one of reasons I was not in favor of the legislation legalizing Marijuana.  Not because I was against Marijuana being legalized.  But the legislation that was passed was severely flawed in my opinion.  And probably the biggest flaw was the legal limit that was set for Marijuana DUI cases.

First of all in my opinion it is set extremely low.  It is not the equivalent of a 0.08 alcohol level for your normal DUI.  From the research I have done it is significantly lower than that if you were to compare the two.   Secondly marijuana unlike alcohol stays in your system quite a bit longer.  For example if you’re a regular user of marijuana then chances are you are constantly driving at or above the marijuana legal limit.

The other interesting tidbit I took away from this interview was the comment that was made about being over the legal limit versus being impaired.  The Prosecutors suggested it doesn’t matter if you’re at the legal limit or not.  You will get arrested for a DUI if you shows signs of impairment.  And guess who is making that decision.  That’s right a police officer is making that decision based on his or her own subjective observations.

Now I have been saying this all along.  There is no such thing as a legal limit anymore.  If you have a drink of alcohol and you get stopped by a police officer, especially in Seattle.  Then you will get arrested, no if’s, ands, or buts.  It will happen.

Anyway if you want to check out the interview from KIRO 7 News here you go.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle.  He has been repeatedly recognized as a Rising Star in the field of DUI Defense by the Seattle Met Magazine, an honor only 2.5% of all lawyers receive in their practice area.  Additionally he is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by, a lawyer rating service.