With the legalization of Marijuana in Washington state, law enforcement agencies are now facing new challenges that really hadn’t occurred with traditional alcohol related DUI cases. One such challenge is securing timely evidence in the form of a specific marijuana level to use in the prosecution of marijuana DUI cases. This occurs via a blood test and can be time consuming when the DUI investigation is all said and done.
Traditionally if a driver is arrested for a marijuana DUI. The arresting officer has to take the driver back to the police station. Manually fill out a form, then call a Judge, and read the probable cause statement over the phone and request a search warrant for the blood. In all honesty this is not that difficult however law enforcement is always looking for better ways to secure evidence against suspects. And that’s where the new blood warrant application system comes in.
From what I hear this will be a first of it’s kind in the country. It will all be electronic and should expedite the process much much quicker in securing these blood warrants to use in DUI cases. Now instead of manually filling out a form, calling a Judge, reading the probable cause statement The law enforcement officer will log onto a website and enter all the relevant data and send it directly to a Judge. This will all happen in real time and potentially could be done on the way to the hospital or even there I suspect.
The concern for law enforcement is going the traditional route with search warrants for blood is that it was too time consuming. And the evidence was dissipating from the suspects system. Whether it was alcohol or marijuana, law enforcement and Prosecutors wanted a higher level and waiting a couple hours ran the risk of that specific level decreasing. Now with this new system that won’t be as much of a problem for DUI cases in King County and elsewhere in Washington state.
If you’re interested in reading more about “Elias” the name of this new application process click here.
About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle, WA. He has been named one of Seattle’s best DUI Lawyers by the Seattle Met Magazine. Additionally he is rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com, a lawyer rating service.