- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Attorney Alex Newhouse Clarifies And Explains The DUI-C Provision Of I-502

47
Share.

marijuana duiiA Legal Breakdown Of I-502’s DUI-C Provision

I saw the following post on Washington N.O.R.M.L.’s Facebook Page and figured it was worth posting for a discussion:

MORE from lawyer Alex Newhouse and I-502 and the DUI-C provision

I-502 puts into place a 5ng per se DUI law. Almost ALL users will fall below this if they use marijuana responsibly. A few legitimate patients may never fall below this, but if they take a couple of added precautions and do not drive impaired, their risk of DUI will be very low for a number of reasons. Right now, a DUI conviction can be obtained on any amount of active THC and the officer’s testimony. And right now patients only have an affirmative defense to possession. I-502 will make a better world for patients and put a stop to recreational users taking advantage of the system for legal protection.

Third, there is NO SUCH THING as an automatic DUI. A suspect can always challenge the stop and can always go to trial and question the evidence against him.

Fourth, there is no ZERO tolerance DUI under I-502. Absent impairment, a person under 21 can be charged with a misdemeanor if he has under 5ng of active THC in his system. This crime does not count as a prior when considering subsequent DUI penalties and is often times dealt away without a conviction. I-502 essentially creates the same tolerance for children using marijuana as we currently have for children using alcohol. The main difference is that many common over the counter medicines have alcohol in them, and so it is appropriate to have the .02 limit for alcohol and .00 for THC. This encourages our children to hang out with the right crowds, to NOT use marijuana, and to not drive impaired.

Share.

About Author

47 Comments

  1. Gary Johnson and the libertarian party is against 502. Thats pretty harsh considering the party wants legalization.

    Maybe the NO people could better spend their energy promoting their sister state to the South, that has a real legalization campaign going on.

  2. Ok i messed up when I used the word against. But, I contacted the Gary Johnson campaign office and they said they do not support i502.

  3. Please provide some evidence of your private correspondence or contact and with whom you spoke to counter the public endorsement made by both candidates. Until then, let’s take the candidates at their word and not yours.

  4. It was a long drawn out, back and forth e-mail.
    Here are excerpts form it.

    Michael Pickens michael_pickens@ymail.comAug 27 (3 days ago)to larrynicholas, region1rep, Carla, meHi Everyone,
    I never stated that the Libertarian Party has officially endorsed the “No on I-502” campaign. I did say on my blog post that the LPWA did not endorse I-502, which is the truth. However, just because they didn’t endorse it doesn’t mean that they oppose it. I cannot speak on behalf of LPWA.
    Here is the article that I wrote-
    http://www.libertarianleadership.org/2012/08/21/an-independent-review-of-washington-states-i-502/

    I read the bill and I personally do not support it. It is a very irresponsible piece of legislation that hurts the very people it is “billed” to protect.
    I would like to see the party oppose it, like we oppose other pieces of bad legislation.
    Michael
    ****
    From: “larrynicholas@comcast.net”
    To: region1rep@doneDad.com
    Cc: Carla Howell ; Mike Pickens
    Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 1:59 PM
    Subject: Re: I 502 YES, or NO

    At the State Convention in March, the LPWA turned down a motion to endorse I-502 but we do not oppose it either. Personally I endorse it. During Hempfest when Judge Gray was here, he got a earful from both sides I believe. In fact, in an effort prevent the same split in California, I took Jim to a summit meeting with a dozen California activists of all sorts. The summit was aiming to bring the different groups together and forge a single unified initiative. Gov Johnson did endorse I-502 when he was here for the state convention in March and Jim met with I-502 leaders (Alison I believe) when he was here June 29-July 1. This whole issue is a “Cluster” and I would advise staying out at this point. I-502 (New Approach Washington) has a broad coalition (including law enforcement & local govs) and best chance to pass. Earlier attempts by Sensible Washington didn’t get enough signatures and now they are working on another imitative signature drive for next year’s ballot. I-502 is on the ballot this year and should be supported.

    I’ve added Mike Pickens to this thread & will reply to Chris by separate reply.ThanksLarry Nicholas
    Chairman, Whatcom County Libertarian Party
    Chairman, Libertarian Party of Washington State

    In a free country, who decides!
    Libertarian Party of Washington State
    NW Washington Libertarian Meetup

  5. The Libertarian Party of Washington has stated clearly that they DO NOT endorse I-502.

    You can find that on their website:
    http://www.libertarianleadership.org/2012/08/21/an-independent-review-of-washington-states-i-502/

    They very clearly explain their position on the DUID issue. It’s the same reasons provided by NORML when they’ve opposed the DUID issue….in every state but Washington.

    Is that enough proof for you and Pierce County AB-NORML, Mr. Henson?

    Steve Sarich
    NO ON I-502 Committee

  6. This is what I expected. I’ve already addressed this issue.

    Pickens, the campaign director in Washington wrote, “As leaders, we cannot sacrifice principles for political expedience, especially when it will do harm to the very people who have trusted us to fight on their behalf. I would ask that the current leaders supporting I-502 take a second look and oppose this hurtful piece of legislation. The pro-marijuana bills that are going to be on the ballot in Colorado and Oregon in November will have to lead the way for the marijuana legalization movement. These bills do not have DUID provisions. As a Libertarian, I cannot, under good conscience, support any piece of legislation that violates our natural rights as humans.”

    Dose he mean to exclude from his criticism, that the leaders who have endorsed I-502 and are the Libertarian candidates made their decision based on sacrificing principles and political expediency? Do Johnson and Gray need to take a second look because they made a mistake in judgement or were just ill-informed?

    Pickens as a true Libertarian cannot in good conscience support I-502. But the political leaders of the Libertarian party, Johnson and Gray, can? Is their Libertarian conscience less developed than that of Michael Pickens?

    I’d like to think they endorsed I-502 for the reasons they said they did and not attribute it to the insulting interpretation of Mr. Pickens.

  7. In researching Mr. Newhouse, it appears that he’s only been practicing for four years and he doesn’t list DUI as a practice area.

    Mr. Newhouse’s arguments are so off-the-wall, or just plain inaccurate, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    “A few legitimate patients may never fall below this, but if they take a couple of added precautions and do not drive impaired, their risk of DUI will be very low for a number of reasons.”

    FINALLY, someone from “Yes on I-502” admits that legitimate (he uses the term “a few” with no empirical reference) patients will actually be found per se (definition of per se is that the following item in itself, does not require any supporting facts or ideas, and may stand alone) guilty of driving under the influence. This is the first honest quote regarding this matter I have heard from a “Yes on I-502” supporter.

    Now, what is his “work-around” for this fact that a legitimate patient could step into his/her vehicle and be found guilty of DUI without any evidence of impairment? While he mentions that for “A number of reasons” the number of these DUI’s will be “low”, Mr. Newhouse never explains what those reasons might be, but I’m sure we’d all love to know.

    According to the OFM report, the Department of Licensing has predicted that there will be an additional $4,000,000 in revenues as a result of these new per se DUI’s. The standard fine for one of these DUI’s is $865. At that rate, they are forecasting over 4,600 new DUI cases as a result of the changes in I-502. This hardly seems like a “low” or inconsequential number. Mr. Newhouse certainly has access to this same OFM information, but chose not to include it in his predictions.

    “take a couple of added precautions and do not drive impaired.”

    Okay, we agree that we should not drive impaired. I presume the precautions are not to break any traffic laws. There are only around 200 laws (See RCW 46.61) and I am sure we can all memorize these. As long as we don’t forget that each of the municipalities have their own traffic laws. If Mr. Newhouse practices criminal defense, I presume he knows that a police officer can follow anyone for extended period, and sooner or later, pull that person over for a traffic violation. The person that was pulled over (and their defense attorney) can scream and yell that the stop was pre-textual. But, again, presuming Mr. Newhouse files motions in criminal court, I am sure that he knows how far that will get you also.

    So long is there is probable cause to stop, the stop is lawful. Broken taillight. Probable cause. Cracked windshield. Probable cause. Questionable tint on window. Probable cause. Failure to use turn signal when a road changes from a single lane to a double lane. Probable cause. Expired tabs. Probable cause. The list is endless…and none indicate impairment.

    The point is, the proposed fix Mr. Newhouse has suggested (we assume, since none is clearly provided) is to be extra careful. That you are per se DUI and you need to take precautions. The only other alternative? Stop driving. Is this his reasonable precaution?

    “Right now, a DUI conviction can be obtained on any amount of active THC and the officer’s testimony. And right now patients only have an affirmative defense to possession.”

    True and true. And also true after the passing of I-502. Nothing changes by the passing of I-502 in this regard. A DUI conviction may still be obtained with nothing more than an officers testimony, indicating that the driver was affected by alcohol or drugs, with or without THC blood test. Washington State toxicologists regularly appears in court and will testify that a person was likely affected by THC, even at 3 nano grams. I-502 simply sets a hard limit, presumptive intoxication for an adult at five nano grams.

    “I-502 will make a better world for patients and put a stop to recreational users taking advantage of the system for legal protection.”

    This sentence makes no sense. He has admitted that “a few” legitimate medical patients will never fall below the 5ng limit. For this reason, it’s mostly patients that object strenuously to I-502. None of us patients see a “better world” arising from these per se DUI provisions; we see unjustified criminalization for a crime they didn’t commit. Which recreational users are “taking advantage of the system”? How?

    “Third, there is NO SUCH THING as an automatic DUI. A suspect can always challenge the stop and can always go to trial and question the evidence against him.”

    What we are saying is that you are per se DUI when you are over five nano grams. And, yes, you can always challenge PC to stop or arrest (a question of law for the judge). And, yes, you can always go to trial, where the single relevant question of fact is: was the person over five nano grams THC? If yes, you must convict. Case over.

    “Fourth, there is no ZERO tolerance DUI under I-502. Absent impairment, a person under 21 can be charged with a misdemeanor if he has under 5ng of active THC in his system. This crime does not count as a prior when considering subsequent DUI penalties and is often times dealt away without a conviction. ”

    How cases are often dealt with is not indicative of the potential penalty or what the law says. Your personal experience, in your jurisdiction is not helpful. I presume you are relying on your four years experience in Juvenile DUI court.

    How is this NOT “zero tolerance”? In the case of a minor under 21, anything found over .00ng for THC is DUI. No other proof of impairment is required. Again, a striking admission by an I-502 proponent. But this is not Negligent Driving. It is a DUI. It is, again, presumed intoxication without evidence of intoxication. In addition, if you are in juvenile court, you don’t get to present evidence to a jury. All questions of fact AND law are decided by an often hostile judge.

    “This encourages our children to hang out with the right crowds, to NOT use marijuana, and to not drive impaired.”

    This also ignores the fact that persons under the age of 21 contract HIV and that persons under 21 get cancer. “We are doing it for the kids. Our most vulnerable citizens.”

    Really? You know what’s more vulnerable than a sixteen year old? Answer: A sixteen year old with stage IV pancreatic cancer. So, yes, thanks for considering our most vulnerable citizens when looking at I-502.

    Steve Sarich
    NO ON I-502 Committee

  8. Alex Newhouse on

    Steve,

    Stop with the vitriol and personal attacks. DUI was my primary practice, having represented approximately 200 DUI clients a year over the past 4+ years.

    I am absolutely tired of your appeal to fear and knee-jerk reactions. I stand by my comments.

    -Newhouse

  9. So you still contend there is no zero tolerance THC limit for those under 21? Was I wrong about what the law actually says? If so, please show me. Won’t this stop all medical cannabis patients under 21 from driving legally in Washington? Is that knee-jerk in your opinion?

    “Sec. 31.2 (ii) The driver is under the age twenty-one and the test indicates…that the THC concentration of the driver’s blood is above 0.00;”
    And this pretty much takes care of your “probable cause” issues.
    Sec. 31.8 (b) The sworn report or report under a declaration (authorized by RCW 9A.72.085) submitted by a law enforcement officer is prima facie evidence that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person had been driving…while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs…
    “Sec. 31.2 The test or tests of breath shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence…of any drug.”
    So once the cop decides, in his opinion, that he has reasonable grounds to believe you’re high, and signs a declaration to that effect, you’re headed for the nearest hospital to get your blood taken.
    Can you argue that the cop was wrong? Sure! Will you win? Not likely….even once you’ve spent thousands on an attorney.
    Tired of me? Quit writing stuff you don’t want to defend!

  10. Alex Newhouse on

    Steve,

    I have to apologize. I got a little heated after I read your
    comment.

    I also need to correct some information. I have nothing to
    hide. I practiced just under 2 years in juvenile court. The remainder of my
    time as an attorney I practiced in district court. While at district court, a
    great majority of my case load dealt with DUI and POM. I am estimating that my
    DUI caseload was about 200 a year.

    I am glad that you did you research on me. You are passionate
    about what you believe in. I am not by any means the most experienced attorney
    out there, but I have done the work. I have filed the motions. I have been in
    the trenches. I have fought hard for the indigent. I have seen the injustices
    first hand.

    You are right. My county is not like other counties. My view
    is limited to what has occurs in the jurisdiction that primarily practice in.

    Again, I am sorry for lashing out. It isn’t normally how I
    behave. However, I am willing to take blame where blame is due.

    Keep in mind. An infraction gives an office reasonable
    suspicion enough to pull an individual over. He needs reasonable suspicion
    after the stop to investigate additional criminal activity. If, during the
    course of that investigation his suspicion rises to the level of probable
    cause, the individual can then be arrested.

    I am an individual who is also passionate about reforming
    our marijuana laws. I don’t see you as an enemy, just as someone who doesn’t
    see how the law actually plays out in my jurisdiction.
    RCW 46.61.503 as it exists now has nothing to do with impairment. It is also NOT a DUI. It doesn’t count as a prior and it does not have near the penalties a DUI carries. Often times, this charge is resolved with some service hours or an SOC, i.e., resolved without a conviction. Read the title of the RCW. I know I am right about the 0 tolerance issue. Please read RCW 46.61.503 and how I-502 amends it.

    Again I apologize. Please find me on facebook and message
    me. I would be more than happy to discuss all of this with you. Take care.

  11. Alex Newhouse on

    I also apologize for the misspelled words
    and grammar. It is hard to write on my phone. I want to make it clear that I am
    still an attorney, but I am now in private practice.

  12. “Almost ALL users will fall below this if they use marijuana responsibly. A few legitimate patients may never fall below this…”

    Please provide evidence for these claims. Just about every patient I have heard of who have had their blood tested recently has been WAY over while clearly not being impaired. Watch the 502 debate from Hempfest and listen to Kari Boiter.

  13. Right. Both Johnson and Gray support I-502. I, and I believe most reformers care FAR more about Johnson and Gray, than we do the Libertarian Party. Johnson started out in the Republican party. It’s clear his ideals transcend the Libertarians.

  14. I prefer what Johnson and Gray believe. That is:

    YES ON I-502 – as does the vast majority of marijuana reform and reform leadership. Please get out of the way of freedom.

  15. Thank you, Mr. Newhouse. Your getting heated is totally understandable, given how willing the antis are to make personal attacks their principal method.

    I cannot believe any reformer would so easily disregard what I-502 accomplishes (the end of marijuana prohibition), because of these nebulous fears about what may happen with DUI’s afterwards.

    They are clearly motivated by something else. I believe they aren’t reformers at all. They are staunch prohibitionists that make fortunes on the status quo. They will fight any reform that will reduce their blood money.

    We saw it happen with California’s Prop 19. This is the same old corruption.

  16. Never said the Libertarian Party endorsed I-502. Did I? In case anyone is confused as to who has endorsed I-502 the list is here: http://www.newapproachwa.org/content/502-endorsements
    Long list.

    That a Libertarian party leader publicly condemns his own candidates’ positions and attributes it to a a problem with their principles is enough to make the politically savvy know that Johnson and the Libertarians don’t stand a chance as a viable political alternative.

    Could you please provide we with an official opposed to I-502 list? Besides C. Michael Pickens, the Washington police chiefs and sheriffs, WASAVP, the drug czar, Rob McKenna, Pam Roach, Mike Carrell, Brad Owen, the No on I-502 group, etc?

    By the way, you’ve heard, no doubt, that a counter-part group in Colorado has formed opposed to Amendment 62. That’s right. A group of medical cannabis users chanting their mantra, “A lot of people on the ‘Yes’ side are touting this as legalization, and it’s not.”

    “Anyone who’s opposed to this initiative is fighting alongside law-enforcement officials and anti-marijuana organizations. Mason Tvert, makes the same one I am making and echos the position of NORML, “Anyone who’s opposed to this initiative is fighting alongside law-enforcement officials and anti-marijuana organizations…”

  17. Alex, no need to justify yourself. Sarich is not a licensed lawyer. He has not taken the law exam. He has not been to law school. That he would question your credentials because of the length of time you have practiced law is pure hutzpah. He has practiced zero years.

    Recently Judge Coughenour, commented on Sarich’s amateur lawyering regarding one of Sarich’s nuisance lawsuits, “The Court respectfully cautions Mr. Sarich that challenging the constitutionality of a state law is a difficult undertaking and could require sophisticated legal analysis. Mr. Sarich has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unable to comply with the simplest and most explicit of legal rules. He is strongly advised to seek legal representation before proceeding with this case.”

  18. Actually, the Drug Czar goes in your column….he’s the one pushing for per se drug laws in every state.

  19. That would be zero tolerance DUI-C laws including metabolites that the drug czar supports. My column is supporting the repeal of prohibition and that means I-502, the measure that is on the ballot. That you would claim that Gil Kerlikowske supports I-502 is just more of your half-truth propaganda.

  20. Lol Sarich. Pseudo-lawyer extraordinaire. Why don’t you go back to taking girly photos and filing frivolous lawsuits? Keep babbling. It’s going to help 502 get passed.

  21. That’s weird. Because I talked to the vice presidential candidate Judge Gray and he said they supported it 100%.

  22. Alex Newhouse on

    I just want all to know that the above was taken from a comment I left on Facebook. After reading the responses here I thought that I had better clarify. That clarification is available on my Facebook. It is long, but it does give my position, the reasons for it, and a little bit of legal analysis. Like I have said, I have nothing to hide.

    Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication to reform our marijuana laws.

  23. That’s really funny….it was a well-know Seattle law firm that made all those mistakes…not us. Our brief was correct and they changed it….and then billed us for it.

    The judge should have advised us to seek “GOOD” legal representation. They haven’t gotten paid, for obvious reasons. I don’t think they want to defend their poor trade-craft in front of a judge. But thanks for bringing up the fact that many attorneys are incompetent, regardless of their affiliations.

    This is why you want to stay away from the NORML lawyer list. It’s apparently a popularity contest as to who get’s the work. Keith Stroup and Allen St. Pierre are running a legal fiefdom, doling out lucrative legal cases to those attorneys who tow the NORML political line and never disagree with Stroup and St. Pierre.

    I think that NORML’s decades long grift on the cannabis community has about run its course. The $50,000 “contribution” from Rick Steves to NORML….right before NORML twisted the arms of board members to “unanimously” vote to support I-502, is more than suspicious. So is the response of those who had their arms twisted.

    Mr. Henson, you should read this and learn something about the organization you follow so blindly. Here’s the latest story on NORML’s iron grip on cannabis opinion and policy. The end of NORML is right around the corner.

    http://ireadculture.com/2012/08/news/flash/reforming-norml/

  24. Listen to Kary Boiter do nothing but spew baseless fear-mongering. That debate was clearly won by the YES ON I-502 speakers.

  25. AaronKightlinger on

    “I-502 puts into place a 5ng per se DUI law. Almost ALL users will fall below this if they use marijuana responsibly.”

    So all I need to do is smoke responsibly, then! Sweet!

    Where are the posters and advertising campaigns that are designed to educate me on how many joints I can smoke per hour before I am considered impaired?

    My point is that we have these numbers and these active campaigns currently in place for alcohol use and how to Drink Responsibly ™. If we have some good ol’ scientific evidence supporting this 5 ng/ml per se limit for cannabis-use, we’d have the same literature at the ready for cannabis. So where is it?

  26. NO SUCH THING AS A AUTO DUI???????? YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST LAWYER IVE EVER HEARD. JUST TELL A OFFICER YOU DONT WANNA GIVE A BLOOD TEST AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. AUTO DUI. YOU DUMB FUCKING IDIOT

  27. “Like I said. It is endorsed by both Libertarian candidates.” NOT SPICOLLI…. SO I GUESS YOU FORGOT YOUR LATEST POST???

    . ARE YOU ANOTHER STUPID FUCKING IDIOT???

  28. THIS GUY IS SPITTING SHIT OUT OF HIS MOUTH. LITTERALLY HES CHANGES HIS MESSAGE TO BE RIGHT NO MATTER WHAT HE SAID PREVIOUSLY THAT CONTRADICTS SAID MESSAGE

  29. THANK YOU SIR. JUST BECAUSE YOUR A HALF WIT LAWYER DOESNT MEAN YOU KNOW DICK ABOUT EVERY FIELD OF LAW. WHICH THIS GUY CLEARLY DOESNT. ANYONE WHO SAYS THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A AUTO DUI IS A STUPID FUCKING MORON CUZ IM PAYIN 7000$ RIGHT NOW TO GET OUT OF A AUTO POT DUI I GOT WHEN I SAID I NEEDED TO CONSULT MY LAWYER BEFORE A BLOOD TEST. COP WROTE IT UP AS A AUTO DUI. EAT THAT YOU STUPID FUCKING LAWYER

  30. Hey Steve, just don’t smoke in your car and you’re good to go! haha No but the LP party isn’t really an important factor to base any argument on so walk on.

  31. STFU about DUIDs! Don’t drive with a stinky car dumb ass. Yeah, I called you a dumb ass because that’s what you’re fighting, a made up scary ass tooth fairy. I live in a 2 ng state so go tell your scare mongering stories to someone else.

  32. Dear Guest; I would have to say that you want to remain un-identified because you do not want to display how ignorant you are. You do not get popped for dui for not submitting to tests, they just pull your license for not submitting. Now lets review exactly who is the DUMB F–king idiot.

  33. You must be as ignorant as your writing displays. You deserve to be paying $7000, they aught to throw your dumb @$$ in jail. It is people like you that give cannabis smoking a bad rap.

  34. IT COULD BE WORSE YOU COULLIVE IN INDIANA HERE YOU COULD HAVE SMOKED TWO WEEKS AGO AND STILL GET HIT WITH DUI AND IF YOU DONT WANT TAKE THE LITTLE TEST WELL THEY STILL HIT YOU WITH A DUI I WOULD BE HAPPY WITH A 502 HERE AT LEAST ITS SOMETHING

Leave A Reply