New NHTSA report reveals there is no evidence to support Marijuana DUI impairment levels
The National Highway Safety Administration or NHTSA for short recently published a report regarding setting per se legal limit marijuana levels for DUI cases. Interestingly enough NHTSA came out and said the available science re: this topic fails to support any marijuana DUI impairment levels that are in place for alcohol related DUIs. So what does this mean? Basically the 5 nanogram limit that was magically created by the Washington State legislature as the per se legal limit for Marijuana DUIs is complete B.S.
If you followed this blog at all during the time of the legalization of marijuana here in Washington State then you will know I was not in favor of it. Not because I’m against the legalization of marijuana, but because I was against how the law was written. Specifically the legal limit that was just created out of thin air by the the Washington State legislature.
Unfortunately people in Washington State, especially here in Seattle thought it was so cool for marijuana to be legalized they didnt pay attention to the fine print of the bill. Heck, I bet the State legislature could have set the legal limit at 1 nanogram and it still would have passed.
Regarding setting a per se legal limit for marijuana DUIs the NHTSA report states the following,
“Every state has enacted a law defining drivers who are at or above .08 grams per deciliter BAC as ‘legally impaired,’ but there are no similar, commonly accepted impairment levels for other drugs. Nonetheless, despite this lack of consensus, authors acknowledge that “some state laws have established levels for some drugs at which it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle” – a position which they concede is not evidence based.”
“The alcohol laws are based on evidence concerning the decreased ability of drivers across the population to function safely at these BACs,” they write. “Such evidence is not currently available for concentrations of other drugs.”
Now this is not the first time that NHTSA has spoken out against setting per se marijuana DUI levels. In fact they published an online fact sheet about THC a while back and in that document they said it is difficult to find a relationship between an individuals THC level and performance impairing effects.
So if you’re facing a marijuana DUI in Seattle and that case is going to trial below is the report from NHTSA for you to have a little fun with the state toxicologist.
Anyway if your interested in reading the report here is the linky.
_ About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI Attorney in Seattle. He has been named one of the best DUI Attorneys in Seattle by the Seattle Met Magazine. He is also rated a perfect 10 out of 10 by Avvo.com, and listed as a Superb DUI Attorney in Seattle.