More Drivers Positive For Pot In Washington

WASHINGTON: More drivers tested positive for marijuana in Washington in 2013 — the first full year after the state legalized pot — but officials so far say there’s been no obvious, corresponding jump in car accidents.

The Washington State Patrol says 1,362 drivers tested positive for having active marijuana in their system — a jump of just under 25 percent from the year before, even though the patrol had fewer troopers on the road and there was no overall rise in intoxicated driving arrests.

Of those, 720 had levels high enough to lead to an automatic drugged-driving conviction under the state’s legal pot law.

Nevertheless, a preliminary tally counts 99,690 crashes reported to law enforcement in 2013, an increase of just 72 from the year before, State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said. Of those, 443 were fatal — compared to 444 in 2012, 454 in 2011 and 521 in 2008.


Washington State Patrol Stepping Up Patrols For Drivers High On Pot

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Patrol is requiring troopers to complete training in “Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement.” The training is part of a course to help troopers spot people driving while high on marijuana.

In Washington, driving under the influence is no longer just about alcohol. The legalization of marijuana has added a new dimension to patrols.

Troopers use a 5 nano-gram basis, much like the .08 level for alcohol, to determine if a person is driving while high on pot. [Read more…]