Here's the number you need to know before driving stoned

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 4:53 PM

The legal blood alcohol limit for driving in Washington state is 0.08.

Now, there's another number to consider for driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Five.

The legal limit is five nanograms of THC per millimeter of blood. THC is the active ingredient in pot.

There isn't a breath test for THC and while oral fluid testing could be done in the future, blood testing is the only option in Washington right now.

The state toxicology lab already tests for THC in about 1,000 drug-related DUI cases a year, but the limit is new.

The blood test isn't simple. It involves 39 different steps from when the blood is drawn to the testing of 50 microliters of clear fluid for THC.

In the lab, the testing can take more than two weeks, which could be a problem in court.

Longtime DUI attorney John Fox questions the constitutionality of the new marijuana law, because pot smokers have no way to test their levels.

As marijuana smokers test their new freedom, the new DUI lab will face major tests of its own, on the highways, in the lab, and in the courts.

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