I-502, driving under the influence, and the facts with a dash of opinion.

Much misinformation, many half-truths, and multiple lies circulate the 5ng/mL whole blood volume active THC limit proposed by the language of I-502 puts forth, consequently I feel duty-bound to post an article that contains the pure unadulterated truth of what is current law and what are the changes I-502 puts forth regarding the Revised Code of Washington’s 46.61.502 or Driving under the influence statute.

RCW 46.61.502

Driving under the influence.

 (1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle in this state:

a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or

c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

(2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person’s breath or blood to cause the defendant’s alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after driving. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant’s intent to assert the affirmative defense.

(4) Analyses of blood or breath samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving, a person had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more in violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, and in any case in which the analysis shows an alcohol concentration above 0.00 may be used as evidence that a person was under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of subsection (1)(b) or (c) of this section.

 (5) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, a violation of this section is a gross misdemeanor.

 (6) It is a class C felony punishable under chapter 9.94A RCW, or chapter 13.40 RCW if the person is a juvenile, if:

(a) The person has four or more prior offenses within ten years as defined in RCW 46.61.5055; or

(b) The person has ever previously been convicted of:

(i) Vehicular homicide while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.520(1)(a);

(ii) Vehicular assault while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.522(1)(b);

(iii) An out-of-state offense comparable to the offense specified in (b)(i) or (ii) of this subsection; or

(iv) A violation of this subsection (6) or RCW 46.61.504(6).

Revised Code of Washington 46.61.502

Proposed changes to RCW 46.61.502 by I-502

Driving under the influence.

Sec. 33. RCW 46.61.502 and 2011 c 293 s 2 are each amended to read as follows: Code Rev/AI:crs 55 I-2465.1/11

(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana,or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:

(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(((c))) (d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.

(2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.

(3)(a) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection(1)(a) of this section, which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person’s breath or blood to cause the defendant’s alcohol concentration to be 0.08 or more within two hours after driving. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant’s intent to assert the affirmative defense.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (1)(b) of this section, which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of marijuana after the time of driving and before the administration of an analysis of the person’s blood to cause the defendant’s THC concentration to be 5.00 or more within two hours after driving. The court shall not admit evidence of this defense unless the defendant notifies the prosecution prior to the omnibus or pretrial hearing in the case of the defendant’s intent to assert the affirmative defense.

(4)(a) Analyses of blood or breath samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving, a person had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more in violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, and in any case in which the analysis shows an alcohol concentration above 0.00 may be used as evidence that a person was under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug in violation of subsection (1)(((b) or)) (c) or (d) of this section.

(b) Analyses of blood samples obtained more than two hours after the alleged driving may be used as evidence that within two hours of the alleged driving, a person had a THC concentration of 5.00 or more in violation of subsection (1)(b) of this section, and in any case in which the analysis shows a THC concentration above 0.00 may be used as evidence that a person was under the influence of or affected by marijuana in violation of subsection (1)(c) or (d) of this section.

(5) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, a violation of this section is a gross misdemeanor.

(6) It is a class C felony punishable under chapter 9.94A RCW, or chapter 13.40 RCW if the person is a juvenile, if:

(a) The person has four or more prior offenses within ten years as defined in RCW 46.61.5055; or

(b) The person has ever previously been convicted of:

(i) Vehicular homicide while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.520(1)(a);

(ii) Vehicular assault while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, RCW 46.61.522(1)(b);

(iii) An out-of-state offense comparable to the offense specified in (b)(i) or (ii) of this subsection; or

(iv) A violation of this subsection (6) or RCW 46.61.504(6).

I-502 Bookmarked; Proposed Changes in Language for RCW 46.61.502 [PDF pages 56-58]

My Opinion

Misinformation, half-truths, and lies by the likes of Harry J. Anslinger and William Randolph Hurst and the progeny of that mindset that took up the torch of cannabis prohibition are what got us into this mess.

If you disagree with the proposed language of I-502, then you must adhere to the facts in order to speak the truth that will set cannabis and thereby humanity free from the oppression cannabis prohibition. Otherwise, you are no better than those that started and maintain cannabis prohibition and you will achieve no good ends by walking that path.

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About TriXteR Phillips

Founder and Jack-of-all-Trades at Stand Up and Speak Out a volunteer organization devoted to providing the public with safe, legal, and supportive events on 4-20 to help bring public attention to the need to end cannabis prohibition for all humanity. Founder, Admin, Blogger, and Jack-of-all-Trades at TriXteR Phillips: A Poison Thorn in Prohibition's Side.
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4 Responses to I-502, driving under the influence, and the facts with a dash of opinion.

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  3. Pingback: I-502, legalization, Class C felony amounts permitted, and the facts with a dash of opinion. | TriXteR Phillips

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