DUI DEFENSE: EVERETT, MARYSVILLE, LAKE STEVENS, MOUNT VERNON, BELLINGHAM, BOTHEL, SEATTLE, AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN.
Washington State Patrol and City Police are cracking down more than ever. Police are more attuned than ever to low level alcohol DUIs and suspicious of all marijuana and other drug consumption as cause to arrest for DUI Drugs. While alcohol and marijuana consumption are common ways to relax and socialize here in Washington, they can, however, interfere your ability to drive. In Washington State, we have both “per se” DUIs (over the limits of .08 for alcohol or 5 nanograms THC), and “affected by” DUIs (where the officer / prosecution must prove your ability to drive was in any perceptible way “affected by” the alcohol and/or drugs you consumed. With limited public transportation options in many areas, driving may be the only way for you to get home from a business or social event where alcohol has been served, and the temptation to drive when you have had a few drinks or whatever else may get you in legal hot water.
DUI is a serious crime in Washington State, but it is one that is seldom committed with malicious intent. It is usually a lapse in judgment – and one by nearly 300, 000 people every day.
CONSEQUENCES OF A DUI CONVICTION
An arrest is not a conviction. But if you have been charged with DUI, a conviction as charged will usually come with harsh penalties. Some penalties may include:
- Suspension and/or Revocation of your driver’s license.
- Installation of Ignition Interlock (blow-and-go) Device(s).
- Compulsory Alcohol / Drug Treatment Programs.
- Community service.
- Alcohol Monitoring Devices (SCRAM / TAD).
- Meetings with a Probation Officer.
LEVELS OF DUI CHARGES IN WASHINGTON
Washington law specifies three different levels of DUI charges:
- A standard DUI is classified as driving a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of:
- .08 percent or higher if you are driving a regular vehicle.
- .04 percent or higher if you are driving a commercial vehicle.
- .02 percent or higher if you are under the age of 21.
- An “over .15” or “refusal” DUI can be charged for driving with a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater or if you are deemed to “refuse” the evidentiary (breath or blood) test.
- Felony DUI:
- Your 5th DUI (or charge starting as a DUI) in 10 Years, or
- Prior Vehicular Assault or Vehicular Homicide charge invovling alcohol or drugs in your lifetime.
- Prior felony DUI.
POSSIBLE DUI DEFENSES IN WASHINGTON
If you have been charged with DUI in Washington State, defenses are available. But you will need to have a defense attorney who understands how the law works and can use this knowledge to your advantage. Don’t assume if the police charge you after testing your blood alcohol content that a conviction is inevitable. If you are arrested for DUI, you have rights, and even if police have recorded a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, a conviction is not a foregone conclusion. A skilled DUI Lawyer with a detailed understanding of the law can have a positive effect on the outcome of your case.
Defenses are available, and your choice of attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. A very good DUI lawyer can often reduce the negative impact of an Washington DUI or DWI charge, and maybe even have it dismissed altogether. These are some of the many possible defenses your lawyer may raise:
- When the police pull you over without probable cause.
- When you you are stopped for a discriminatory reason and without legal justification, based on your race, sex, age, sexual preference, etc.
- When you were not in actual physical control of the vehicle, for example you had pulled off the road to sleep it off.
- When the Field Sobriety Test was not administered or interpreted properly.
- When you have been denied the right to counsel; the police did not give you prompt access to a phone to call a lawyer.
- When the Drager / Alcotest / DataMaster BAC testing device is inaccurate, or the timing of a breath test produced an inaccurate result.