When facing a DUI in Washington State there are a couple different points when the ignition interlock device (IID) could be required: at the first court appearance, after a Department of Licensing (DOL) administrative action and after the court case is resolved. The IID is a device that requires a driver to submit a breath sample both before the vehicle will start and also intermittently while the vehicle is running. Usually, the first time there is danger of the IID being required is right after the event at first court appearance.
We all know impaired driving is illegal in Washington, regardless of the cause of the impairment. The state's laws cover illegal and legal drugs, medications and alcohol. All drivers should understand these laws so they can avoid facing criminal DUI charges.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is dangerous and the tough laws in Washington State haven't eliminated them. There may be new technology on the horizon to help make our roadways safer. Currently, the government does not require installation of anti-DUI devices or technology on new automobiles. Within the next couple years new technology designed to prevent folks from starting their car and driving if they are over the legal limit for alcohol may actually be mandatory on new vehicles.
When someone is facing a DUI or other criminal charge they often ask how to minimize the publicity about their case or how to keep their case out of the paper. Generally, there are two points where a criminal case could be in the news: at the beginning when the events occur and at the end when the court case resolves.
Getting a DUI can lead to many emotions like regret and disappointment. It can also be a confusing time trying to figure out simple things like where the courthouse is located or whether your license is valid. If you are charged with a DUI, then an experienced attorney will provide you with the guidance and advice to achieve the best possible result for your case.
When someone is charged with a DUI in Washington State a Deferred Prosecution is one of several potential resolutions. After a complete investigation of the evidence and after negotiations with the prosecuting attorney your attorney should present all options for resolving your DUI charge. Any DUI that doesn't get dismissed through suppression motions will eventually come down to one of three options: accepting a negotiated resolution, going to trial or asking the judge to grant a Deferred Prosecution.
The Washington State Courts' DUI Sentencing Grid details the mandatory minimum penalties for misdemeanor DUI convictions. The sentencing grid attempts to simplify the penalties found in RCW 46.61.5055. The grid is split into columns by number of prior offenses and in rows by breath or blood test results. The Washington State Courts update the grid every year or two as amendments to DUI laws are passed by the legislature. Recent versions of the grid can be found here.
DUI cases often start as a normal traffic stop for speeding or some other traffic violation. When these stops occur it is important to understand your rights and the consequences of performing or refusing roadside DUI tests. More often than not in Washington State these roadside tests will consist of a test of one's eyes, two agility/balance tests and possibly a roadside breath test.
All adult DUI convictions, including non-felony misdemeanor convictions, in Washington State carry mandatory minimum penalties. These mandatory minimums come from the legislature and generally can be found in the Revised Code of Washington 46.61.5055. When the legislature amends these penalties, the Washington State Court system drafts a quick reference sheet.
Washington State DUI laws have a legal limit for alcohol .08. Over the last 100 years there has been a lot of research linking alcohol consumption to physical and mental impairment. Did you know a few years ago Washington State DUI laws added a legal limit for marijuana intoxication? That limit is 5 ng of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical responsible for most of the impairing effects of marijuana. Compared to alcohol there is significantly less research on the quantity of THC in one's blood that is necessary to impair physical and/or mental functions.