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Contact High, Still a DUI

Posted by William Kirk, Partner | Jul 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

As recreational marijuana use becomes legal, Washington state residents are now trying creative new excuses as to why they should not be charged with a marijuana DUI. In Spokane County, a teen driver tried to get out of an impaired driving arrest by arguing that he didn't smoke pot himself, but instead had a contact high by being in close proximity to someone who was smoking. To no surprise, the teen's creative defense did not work, reports King 5 News.

Last weekend, a Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy says that he observed the suspect speeding in a 35 mph zone. The deputy stopped the vehicle and noticed an "overwhelming smell" of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

The driver offered to the officer that he had not smoked any weed. However, he did admit to possibly having a contact high from being in the same car as his friends who were smoking. As you may know, if you inhale marijuana smoke from individuals smoking around you, you may feel the effects of marijuana as well even though you yourself did not smoke. This is known as a contact high.

While the teen may have been telling the truth in not smoking, he was charged with driving under the influence anyway. Authorities reiterated that it is illegal to drive impaired. This is true regardless of how you become impaired -- whether you drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, or are apparently too close to marijuana smoke.

Contact a King County DUI Attorney

A creative excuse to a drunk driving charge may not always be the best defense to a drunk driving charge. To discuss the details of your case with an experienced King County DUI attorney and to learn the best defense to your charge, call an attorney at Cowan Kirk Gaston Wolff by calling 1-866-822-1230.

About the Author

William Kirk, Partner

Bill Kirk has been named a Super Lawyer by Washington Law and Politics Magazine every year since 2003. He currently serves on the Board of Regents to the National College for DUI Defense and is the President of the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice. Bill is one of only two attorneys in this state to pass the National College's Board Certification Exam.

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