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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Police Say a Stoned, High, Phone-Answering Driver Killed a Teenager

Posted by on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Critics protested the proposed new limit for THC in the blood last year. They said it would ensnare good, responsible drivers and slap them with DUIs they didn't deserve. They said pot makes people drive better. Seattlepi.com reports:

A Buckley man accused of running over a teen as he walked hand-in-hand with his girlfriend has been charged with vehicular homicide.

King County prosecutors contend Cody R. Money was high on marijuana and prescription painkillers when he drove into 16-year-old Justin Relethford on Halloween. Money, 20, is alleged to have had a blood-marijuana level nearly twice the legal limit hours after the fatal crash. ...

Money tested positive for oxycodone – a prescription pain medication – as well as marijuana during a blood draw conducted three hours after the crash, the detective told the court. Money is alleged to have registered an active THC level of 9.5, nearly double the 5 nanograms-per-milliliter standard set under the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

This incident—this horrible tragedy, which also involved a cell phone and painkillers—occurred before Initiative 502 passed, thereby establishing a limit for THC in the blood, but that limit is there just for reasons like this: to remind people that you shouldn't drive stoned (on painkillers or pot). Still, it seems the defendant isn't even charged with DUI.

 

Comments (37) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Pot kills.
Obviously Pot should be banned.
Right?

BangBang. You're an idiot.
Posted by ...so full of shit on March 13, 2013 at 9:08 AM · Report this
2
Clearly this accident had nothing to do with the fact that the driver wasn't looking at where he was driving, and everything to do with the mild narcotic.

Moron.
Posted by Strawman Is Strawy on March 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM · Report this
Geocrackr 3
Wait - he was high on marijuana and oxycodone, and you're saying the marijuana is to blame? That... it... I'm speechless.
Posted by Geocrackr on March 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
4
It was the painkillers…THE PAIN KILLERS! YOU DOLT!
Posted by Erok on March 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM · Report this
venomlash 5
Y'all bakers toasting in a roll bread.
Posted by venomlash on March 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM · Report this
6
I wasn't against the THC blood limit, and still am not. This article, however, sounds like Fox News' style of argumentation, and that sucks.

I've really appreciated all your reporting and work on this issue, but this example doesn't prove anything other than that being high on oxy and cannabis and answering the phone while driving is bad. I think pretty much everyone can agree on that.

Keep up the good work, I always read anything you write for The Stranger. But it seems to me that this sort of post does nothing to advance the conversation. It just attracts trolls.
Posted by jlar on March 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
7
Ah. Touche venomlash.
Posted by jlar on March 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Dominic Holden 8
@ 3 & 4) Reread the post: It says repeatedly that the painkillers, the pot, and the cell phone all appear to be factors.
Posted by Dominic Holden on March 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
douchus 9
Ain't nothing wrong with this post, dumbasses.
Posted by douchus on March 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM · Report this
starsandgarters 10
He wasn't charged with DUI because he was charged with vehicular homicide. It's a greater charge. Duh.
Posted by starsandgarters on March 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
11
Have there been any studies to learn the effects of opiate type drugs on driving? There certainly are studies showing cannabis improves driving ability for some.
Posted by pupuguru http://www.godsweed.org on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
raku 12
I can't wait for the day there's a real war on cars like there is a (weak) war on guns today. Cars still are the #1 "unnatural" killer in the US, and kills more people under 40 than all "natural" causes combined - cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.
Posted by raku on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Report this
13
@8: You might want to reread it as well (and correct those typos).

And I don't understand the point you're trying to make by mentioning that this guy wasn't charged with a DUI.
Posted by treehugger on March 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
14
@10 You know that they can charge you with every law on the books that fits... Oddly, there is even a colloquialism stemming from this practice.
Posted by Throw The Book At Them on March 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Eastpike 15
The reason he's pointing out that the guy wasn't charged with a DUI is that 502 opponents were loudly crying about the inevitable flood of DUID marijuana charges that were enabled somehow by the new law. Here's a guy who undergoes a routine (in injury accident) blood draw, and tests positive for over-the-limit blood THC, and still isn't being charged. Now, the reasons for this are likely no real defense for 502 (it's probably that DUI is usually subject to plea bargaining, or that he's being charged with a much greater offense that isn't), but at least it might help ease the paranoia on the No-502 camp, some of whom still think police are doing "mouth swabs" and that safe drivers are being locked up. They are not.
Posted by Eastpike on March 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 16
@11: "There certainly are studies showing cannabis improves driving ability for some."

Self-reported anecdotes, SCIENCE.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
17
@12, actually in 2010 guns killed more people in WA than cars
this was also the case in 13 other states and will likely be the case by 2015
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19…
Posted by buxy on March 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 18
@5,
That pretty much sums up 90% of the stuff that gets posted.

That said, it sure is funny seeing so much inconsistency among commenters on this rag...

"Pot doesn't hurt you! Because I like pot! So stop attacking it! But ban guns! Because I personally don't like them! No, I don't have any valid evidence to support either of my beliefs! But anecdote! And feelings! And oblivious, short-sighted selfishness!"
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
raku 19
17- I said the entire country... either way, guns and cars are clearly the two of the biggest social problems in the country right now.
Posted by raku on March 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
blip 20
Wait, what do guns have to do with this post? I'M SO CONFUSED
Posted by blip on March 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 21
Any person who thinks pot makes anyone a better driver is a fucking idiot. Full stop.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on March 13, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
22
Cars are an everyday tool needed by people in their daily lives, used for ordinary daily activities, and which support the social and economic fabric of our society. For the vast majority of gun owners, guns are primarily a fetish, whose unregulated ownership right would be better justified as religion under the 1st amendment than under the 2nd. We could vote to have no cars, but there is a broad consensus to have cars and do the best we can with them, for now. The guns are being shoved down our throats and up our asses by constitutional interpretation and assumption, and fanaticism. (I enjoyed typing the line about the 1st amendment. Shit, maybe its even true.) And seriously, I agree with you. I wish our government had the guts to regulate guns the way they regulate cars, but they don't, even though they could.

Holden continues his campaign to undercut his points by expressing them in a dickish way.
Posted by cracked on March 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
AmyC 23
Wait. Stoned AND high?
Posted by AmyC on March 13, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
24
@20 I wish I had just said what you said. "Wait, what do guns have to do with this post? I'M SO CONFUSED "
Posted by cracked on March 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
25
@24 I think the gun argument was, "Hey, this post is saying pot makes cars dangerous, so I'm going to say that cars kill people... no, wait...uh... cars should be treated like they can kill people, like guns, and be less regulated, or something like that."
Posted by cracked on March 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 26
All pit bulls should be shot on sight.

Discuss.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 27
Also,

Something something... vegans are assholes...
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
28
Do you smoke pot Domonic?
Posted by jeffy on March 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 29
when someone kills someone and they ONLY have weed in their system, then we'll have an example. but Buckley bonehead here had synthetic narcotics in his system.

i can't even poop on oxycodone much less drive & chat on the phone.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
30
@8 Fair enough.
Posted by jlar on March 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
raku 31
Jeez. I'm saying cars and guns are the two biggest killers of young people, but there is little will to regulate cars while many people want to strictly regulate guns.

22- We're not going to ban all cars or guns in our lifetime. Guns are already regulated like cars, if not more strictly in many cases. Both cars and guns need to be more strictly regulated - for cars we should regulate by size, speed limits, changes to laws like free right turns, red light cameras that work, vulnerable persons laws, stricter DUI and wreckless driving laws, mandatory breathalyzers, sin taxes, eliminate parking lots for bars, etc.
Posted by raku on March 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
32
@ 14, 15 - as 10 said, the driver has been charged with vehicular homicide, which is a much more serious charge (Class A felony vs. gross misdemeanor) than a DUI.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?…

It is also a charge that specifically requires the state to prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana. As such, double jeopardy would likely prevent the state from charging and successfully prosecuting someone with both vehicular homicide and DUI for a single incient.
Posted by UnoriginalAndrew on March 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 33
People don't kill people.

People driving cars and talking on cell phones kill people.

Some of those people are high.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 13, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
34
@31: "Little will to regulate cars"???

You can't be serious. Cars are already highly regulated, much more so than guns. Cars need regular safety inspections (Is this true in WA? I don't know. It is most places.) You can get pulled over and ticketed for having a busted turn signal. You can get ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. You need to be insured up the ass just to get your car on the road. I could go on... there are entire chapters of statutes about regulations concerning cars. And you're implying that cars are unregulated (or regulated minimally at least)?!?

I just don't even know what to say anymore when gun advocates use such stupid and wrong arguments to support their position. Hell, I'm not even against gun ownership, in fact I'm all for it for law abiding people, I just don't understand how you're helping your position by spouting nonsense.
Posted by MRM on March 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 35
@22: "Holden continues his campaign to undercut his points by expressing them in a dickish way."

Tone trolling is a great way to admit you're wrong without ever having to admit that you're wrong.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
dangerousgift 36
Vehicular homicide is a specific intent crime, with intent being inferred through gross recklessness. Vehicular manslaughter is a general intent crime that carries a lessor penalty.

Intoxication is a defense to vehicular homicide, reducing it to vehicular manslaughter. They can't charge a DWI and a vehicular homicide because one reduces the other.

Also, driving while fucked up is the stupidest thing ever, and I say this as an enthusiastic spliff smoker. Ride a bike, jerks!
Posted by dangerousgift on March 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
raku 37
34: Wha? I'm very anti-gun, and I would love it if all guns were banned and drones took all guns from people's houses in the middle of the night. But that's not going to happen.

There are hundreds of pages of regulations for guns, and there are hundreds of pages of regulations for cars. They're both very weak.

I'm just saying cars should be better regulated. As the nation's #1 killer of young people and children, they obviously are not regulated well enough. How can anyone argue that (except libertarians)?
Posted by raku on March 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this

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