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Driver charged with DUI marijuana after fatal crash in Vancouver, WA

dui pot crashVANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) — The Vancouver Police Department arrested a man on the charge of driving under the influence of marijuana in connection with a deadly crash in Vancouver.

Police believe this is the first deadly crash involving marijuana since it became legal in Washington.

Investigators said the driver hit and killed a pedestrian around 5:50 p.m. on East Mill Plain Boulevard and Andresen Road.

Police said the victim, a male in his 50s, was believed to be walking back from Safeway and stepped out into the middle of traffic.

The driver, Scotty Rowles, was driving westbound on East Mill Plain Boulevard and could not stop his car in time, police said.

Detectives said Rowles cooperated with the investigation, but after interviewing him they determined there was enough evidence to arrest him on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Police believe this is the first deadly crash involving the drug since it became legal in the state of Washington.

Police said the victim was close to two different lit and controlled intersections, but chose to step out into the middle of traffic, which would clearly put him at fault.

However, because Rowles was believed to be under the influence of marijuana, Washington State law would mean he is technically at fault, according to police.

While it may now be legal to smoke marijuana in the state of Washington, police said it is never legal to smoke it and then get behind the wheel.

The victim’s ID will be released after police notify his family.

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44 comments

  • Leos2518

    There is no way to adequately test for being DUI for weed! Not fair and I knew some cop would use the new law to his advantage!! At least if it was illegal still with now set DUI limit, the persons fault is was would be the real lame! But either way, very sad so one lost their life!

    • Bobtail

      I support legalization. But, this is why you should not drive impaired people. If for no other reason than because you can be jailed for something that isn’t really your fault. It’s a tragic situation all the way around. Yes, the pedestrian jumped out in the middle of traffic. But also the driver shouldn’t have ever been on the road. Two wrongs do not make a right. If I tried to commit suicide and jumped in front of you car and you were high or drunk whether or not it was your fault or not you would still be assigned the blame. We have zero tolerance!! It’s always your fault if your impaired.

  • MICHELLE

    THAT'S A BUNCH OF B.S.!!!!!!! YEAH LETS BLAME IT ON MARIJUANA BECAUSE GOD FORBID THAT IT'D BE THE IDIOTS FAULT FOR WALKING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I THINK THE PEDESTRIAN WAS AT FAULT AND THE DRIVER SHOULDN'T BE CHARGED, ESPECIALLY WITH A DUI FROM MARIJUANA.GET REAL!!! NOW THAT MARIJUANA'S LEGAL, LETS TRY AND MAKE IT SOUND LIKE MARIJUANA IS A BIG IMPAIRMENT. I KNOW PLENTY OF PPL THAT CAN DRIVE JUST FINE AFTER SMOKING IT. MAYBE THEY NEED TO LOOK DEEPER INTO IT AND SEE IF MAYBE THE PEDESTRIAN WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOMETHING…LIKE ALCOHOL. WHY ELSE WOULD HE WALK OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET WITH TRAFFIC. I THINK THAT THERE'S GONNA BE A LOT OF PPL BLAMING THINGS ON POT BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T HAPPY WITH IT BEING LEGALIZED. IT IS WHAT IT IS…SO DEAL WITH IT!!!

    • Rebecca

      Take a chill pill. Let's be sad someone lost their life.
      It's definitely confusing why someone would walk into the middle of traffic. But still, driving while impaired is illegal. No matter what. I don't think this article is even attempting to say it was a bad idea to legalize marijuana. I think the article is trying to say… don't smoke and then drive.

      • Nobahd

        driving impaired and smoking a joint then getting in a car 3 weeks later and still having thc in your system is to WAY WAY different things, no were in this does it say the kid was speeding or swerving or driving like he was impaired

        • noname

          No, but it does say that after interviewing the driver, they found enough evidence to charge him.
          Guess that means he told on himself.

  • Tony Stephens

    I tried to tell everyone, this new initiative was a step backward for Liberty. The people who voted for it should have been the very people voting against it.

    This man will not be found guilty of vehicular homicide, but his bank account will be depleted and his life ruined because a pedestrian walked into traffic.

    THC blood levels are the worst kind of junk science. If you take your pharmaceutical meds and get into an accident, there will be no charges. If you take a miracle drug the big pharma companies make no profit from, you will go to jail.

  • Gina101

    That's great. We don't have enough idiots drinking and driving, now we have to contend with more idiots legally smoking to get high and driving. Way to go, Washington!

    • Bobtail

      I think you missed the part where the guy step out in the middle of traffic for no reason suddenly and because of a “technicality” the guy “suspected” of marijuana use is at fault. Your logic has silly motives.

        • LoveNY

          The drivers reaction to the pedestrian was most likely delayed. Maybe he could of reacted faster without being Under the influence. The law is the same as driving with intoxicated., Thank god it wasn't a child. Bottom line…. stay in the wonderful state of WA. I like my state.

  • Ross

    Smoking and driving should be a civil infraction at best (like texting and driving), because many people can do it without impairment. We shouldn’t limit everyone’s freedom because some people can’t handle it. That said, if you’re involved in an accident it should be investigated and you should receive some kind of slap on the wrist.

  • Meghan

    Omg I just heard marijauna called a miracle drug! Hahahaaa that just made my day!

    By the way, you are charged with a DUI for driving while under the influence of a prescribed drug. Quit being a marijauna martyr or at least readjust your tinfoil hat.

    • GreenLady

      Are you mentally challenged? Please do some fact checking before opening your mouth on a public forum. It's kind of funny how in all the years marijuana has been around, there has never been a death prior to this caused supposedly by marijuana. Find me one instance and maybe I'll take what you're saying seriously.

      Also, how often has one been given a DUI for prescribed drugs? Please, do inform me and give examples. I can back what I'm saying, can you?

      • Meghan

        It’s not hard. It’s called “google”. You will find numerous lawyers ready to help.

        Also, name calling and the like proves that you have a very weak argument to make if you find yourself resorting to it.

        One more item I believe you should take to heart “Pride cometh before the fall”

  • Angel

    This is B.S!! Did anyone check the system of the munchie-eater crossing the street at an illegal section of the intersection??? He could of been high too…then who's at fault???

  • GreenLady

    This is a bunch of BS. Are you kidding me? The guy stepped out into traffic and the driver had no way to stop. I knew this would happen… cops already are looking for ways to charge people with this BS marijuana DUI. Anyone who knows anything about marijuana contents in your system knows that even if this guy hasn't touched marijuana in days, it would still show up over their .5 nano-gram limit. For taking 1 hit of marijuana it would take you over 3 days to show up under .5 nano-grams and that's if you have a high metabolism and barely use it. Good job WA voters, you should have read the law you were voting for. An innocent man is now being charged with a DUI that involves death when he's completely innocent. The article even states..

    ' Police said the victim was close to two different lit and controlled intersections, but chose to step out into the middle of traffic, which would clearly put him at fault.'

    The guy walked into traffic. The driver had no time to stop. He cooperated. And, he's screwed now. Marijuana does not kill… Stupid people walking out into traffic do. Get your facts straight.

    • Christine

      U SAID IT CHEECH!!! When I was arguing with a cop on FB about it & he kept putting articles up about ppl who were convicted of killing another b/c of pot, there was ALWAYS another factor in the situation, bad road conditions, ppl just stepping into traffic, alcohol. ….it’s ridiculous!!!! And does everyone really think that ppl just now started smoking pot when it started becoming legal??
      PLEASE!!!! It’s been going
      on for a VERY LONG TIME
      NOW!!!!!! Just another
      reason for cops to make
      their monthly quota…….

  • Cann

    I know that crosswalk. The median has trees in the middle and it is not lighted, making it difficult for drivers to see someone crossing. Some pedestrians cross before making sure the drivers see them. This is dangerous especially in the moments just after dark as is the case of this tragic situation

  • Ken

    Legalizing pot didn’t change anything that wasn’t already going on in the streets. The only thing it changed was that it freed up the court system from being bombarded with these petty cases of people being charged with the possession of it. But if anyone thinks that people weren’t already smoking and driving, then I have some beach front property to sell you in New Jersey. However, I do now see a trend that may take over in the court system now, and that’s of police officers using the DWI of marijuana as a new frivolous tool to tack onto motorist, when they pull them over and want to misuse their authority. And by the way, before someone gets their panties in a wad, I don’t smoke weed, but my brother smokes A LOT OF IT FOR YEARS, and I see how it doesn’t effect him at all. People who actually smoke it on the regular, tolerance level is very high. It’s those who will be smoking it for the first time and maybe their body weight is low, who it will effect their judgement. ( maybe ).

  • guest1979

    Taken from the DOL website for Washington State:
    (http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/dui.html)

    "Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to operating a vehicle while affected by alcohol, drugs, or both. This applies to both legal and illegal drugs, including prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs."

    "How is DUI determined?
    A driver may be charged with DUI if:

    •The results of a breath or blood test show the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood to be:
    ◦.08 or higher for adults (21 and over).
    ◦.04 or higher for commercial vehicle drivers (CDL suspensions).
    ◦.02 or higher for minors (under 21).
    or
    •He or she is found to be driving a vehicle under the influence or affected by alcohol, any drug, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, regardless of the concentration of alcohol in their breath or blood.
    ◦Starting August 1, 2012, the definition of a drug also includes any chemical inhaled or ingested for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects."

    In case anyone was wondering…

  • Antony

    Marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs are all legal when used appropriately.
    Yes, it was almost certainly the pedestrian's fault.
    But surely people are not suggesting that it should also be legal to get off one's trolley on any of the above substances and get behind the wheel of a car?
    Would it make any difference if he was drunk rather than stoned? Not to me.
    Driving under the influence is and should remain illegal, irrespective of whether one is involved in an accident, an idiot has stepped out in front of you or you manage to get home without harming anybody.
    The driver should not be charged with manslaughter if the pedestrian was at fault, merely driving under the influence.

  • woody

    there is no way to determine if the driver was currently under the influence of marijuana, tthe driver may have informed the officer that hehad smoked marijuana. Earlier that day that does not mean he was underthe influence at the time of the accident. And there is no test to determine. If he was underthe influence the responding officer would have made that decision based on his or her extensive medical and psychological background. But it seems to me that the person oppeeating the motor vehicle was not observed driving erratically. Or running up on the sidewalk where the pedestrian was it

  • jbrown253

    Marijuana doesn't kill people, people kill people. This sounds like a tragic accident. We cannot blame marijuana legalization and we do not know the full details; rather, only what has been reported. Sounds to me like the idiot shouldn't have crossed the road where he did and made a seriously poor decision. If the marijuana guy was indeed intoxicated then he should get some form of discipline but the punishment should be fitting and not extreme given the circumstance of the idiot pedestrian. I don't know how many times I have seen people walking along the road too close to moving traffic, in the dark, wearing dark clothing…and I often wonder which driver is going to accidentally hit them. Pedestrians often think they own the road (especially young people) and if they choose to think this way with arrogance and take on vehicles that are thousands of pounds then they are just asking to end their lives.

  • guest

    Wow what an opportunity for anyone with a video recorder and a note pad. Yall better start fighting back; and start comfronting these people at news centers, police offices, mayor's office. Organise in groups of 3 and go ask questions. record everything.


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