Drive High, Get a DUI, is The New Motto for Emphasis Patrols
The Washington State Traffic Safety Commission has had to come up with a whole new program to deal with potheads behind the wheel.
Marijuana impaired drivers are nothing new on our roads in Washington state. But, since the legalization of recreational marijuana, traffic related DUI arrests due to drivers being high have risen at least 33%. Based upon the number of pot-related DUI arrests in 2012, it's expected the next round of statistics will show nearly a 50% increase.
It's been enough that the WTSC has come up with the new campaign, "Drive High, Get a DUI."
Catchy, isn't it? According to the Kirkland Reporter online newspaper:
Like alcohol and some prescription or over-the-counter drugs, even if it’s legal to consume, it’s not always safe to drive after consumption. Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical which causes most of the effects that leaves the user feeling “high.” When smoked, THC is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and it is often unpredictable how long it will take to feel the effect, or how long it will last. Police can base arrests on results of a blood draw, but can also make an arrest on observed impairment even low marijuana levels can present problems for drivers. The advice police in Washington State are offering this summer: if you get high, find a designated driver."
Many law enforcement agencies plan July 4th holiday weekend emphasis patrols, so it you're traveling during that period, be prepared to see lots of authorities out looking for "puff the magic dragon" behind the wheel.