Undoubtedly, Washington State drivers are aware of the legal limits for alcohol (.08) and Marijuana (5.00) above which driving is illegal. What many folks probably don’t know, however, is that a person can be charged and convicted of DUI regardless of whether there is a breath or blood test result, and even if there is a test result below the legal limit of .08. Here is the reasoning – Washington DUI law provides that an individual is legally impaired if he or she is driving … ‘while the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and/or any drug’.
In short, if the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, through testimony and other evidence, that a person’s driving was appreciably affected by the alcohol/ drug he consumed, a jury – by law – is required to convict that person for DUI. Too often folks think that the legal limit of .08 or 5.00 is the only barometer for DUI. Well it is and it isn’t … there are several ways someone can be charged, and even convicted, for DUI in Washington State. In reality, all the government really has to show is that the person was driving, the driving took place on a certain date and in a certain jurisdiction, and the person’s driving was appreciably affected by the alcohol and/or drug he consumed. The government does not even need to show knowledge, intent, recklessness or even negligence to obtain a DUI conviction; DUI, in essence, is a social mores crime.
In considering the foregoing, it should go without saying that if you are cited for DUI in Washington state you should immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney, among other things, can quite possibly save a person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, extent of loss of privilege to drive and amount of jail time to be served. Washington traffic laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or a drug related DUI in Washington State.