The Ever Changing Landscape of Washington DUI Law

According to the Washington State Patrol, there are about 40,000 DUI arrests a year, half made by the patrol, the other half by local law enforcement officials. In 2011 there were 454 traffic accident fatalities, 199 in which a driver was impaired by either drugs or alcohol. Of that 199, 135 were impaired by alcohol only.

In light of on-going concerns about DUI related injuries and fatalities, Governor Jay Inslee and a bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a plan this past Tuesday that would make changes to the state’s impaired driving laws, such as requiring an arrest on the first offense and mandatory jail time if offenders don’t enroll in a sobriety program after a second arrest. The measure also would prohibit people from purchasing alcohol for 10 years after a third conviction of drunken driving, and it would require mandatory installment of interlock devices on cars after someone is charged, rather than convicted, unless an exception is made by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Inslee has alleged that the plan is the “most aggressive, the most effective, the most ambitious program to reduce drunk driving on our roads.” The legislation comes in the wake of two recent fatal accidents.

In addition to the above, the proposal sets mandatory minimum jail times for second and third offenses, but offenders can avoid jail on the second offense if they enroll in a substance abuse program that requires them to take frequent breathalyzer tests. The program is modeled after one in South Dakota. On a third offense, they would be sentenced to 364 days in jail and issued an identification card that would prohibit them from purchasing alcohol for a decade.

Because of the significant implications a DUI arrest and/or conviction can have, it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State retain a qualified Seattle DUI attorney or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer in order to best minimize potential legal consequences and protect their rights and interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle DUI lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the DUI allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible.

If you or a loved one is cited for, or charged with, DUI in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 for an initial free consultation.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri