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DUI and drugs

Washington |

Is it more serious to get arrested for drunk driving or for driving under the influence of drugs, specifically marijuana?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. DUI Law in Washington State is generally broken down into three different charges:

    Driving Under the Influence

    A driver is considered guilty of this charge if he or she is Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs and, has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher within two hours of driving, is affected by either alcohol or drugs, or is affected by both alcohol and drugs.

    Physical Control of Vehicle Under the Influence

    A driver is considered guilty of this charge if he or she had physical control of the vehicle even if the car is stopped and: has a BAC level of 0.08 or higher while having physical control of the vehicle, is affected by either alcohol or drugs, or is affected by both alcohol and drugs.

    Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol

    A driver is considered guilty of this charge if he or she is under 21 years of age and has a BAC level of 0.02 or higher within two hours of operating or being in physical control of the vehicle.


  2. No. The criminal penalties are the same. A far as administrative license suspension, commonly known as the "DOL Hearing", one's drivers license can be suspended for refusing a test for alcohol or drugs, or for blowing a .08 or over (.02 or over if a minor), but not for a positive drug test. Additionally, there are some proof problems the prosecutor has to deal with when marijuana is involved that aren't present when the charge is based on the presence of alcohol in one's system.

    However, the presence of drugs in the car or on one's person can lead to possession charges.

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