Police: ‘Contact high’ Not An Excuse For Marijuana DUI

WASHINGTON:  Members of local law enforcement agencies said they heard an increased number of creative excuses for impaired driving after recreational marijuana was legalized in early July.  Authorities said impaired drivers will be punished, regardless of how they become high.

A Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy said the most recent excuse happened during a traffic stop the weekend of the July 19.  Deputies said an 18-year-old was speeding in a 35 mph zone.  Authorities said deputies noticed an overwhelming smell of marijuana coming from the man’s vehicle when they stopped him.  The man said he did not smoke anything, but received a contact high from being around his friends who were smoking marijuana.

“If you’re impared and you’re out driving, we don’t care how you got that way,”  said Deputy Craig Chamberlin. “You’ll get a DUI.”

Deputies said aside from the creative excuses, not much changed after the legalization of recreational marijuana.

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