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On January 1, 2026, a new section to RCW 46.61 will take effect. The section pertains to law enforcement being able to obtain oral fluids in the DUI setting. Section 33 reads: (1) Any law enforcement agency utilizing oral fluid roadside information as part of the enforcement of driving under the influence laws must ensure… Continue Reading »

Earlier this month it was reported that the Washington State Patrol agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing one of its troopers of targeting people of color and immigrants by unlawfully stopping them via pre-text stops. The plaintiffs were all arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of impaired driving. All… Continue Reading »

A bill that would have lowered the legal limit on blood alcohol concentration from .08 to .05. Continue Reading »

New toxicology lab to expedite blood testing. Last month Governor Inslee commemorated the opening of the new lab in Federal Way; The new lab cost taxpayers about $4.5 million. Continue Reading »

A first time DUI in Washington State is considered a gross misdemeanor, not a felony. A Washington DUI carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $5000 fine. In all cases where a conviction is entered, there is a mandatory minimum sentence, which a judge is required to impose and cannot reduce. Continue Reading »

If you a person loses her license because of a DUI conviction or because of a Washington State Department of Licensing suspension, the Washington state ignition interlock lock license law allows her to continue driving 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Continue Reading »

Our Washington Legislature recently voiced a major concern about our state patrol employment numbers. Right now 21% of the agency’s trooper positions are vacant. The Washington State Patrol watches Washington’s state highways, enforces traffic laws and conducts criminal investigations and drug forensic testing through its self-prescribed ‘state of the art’ toxicology lab. In order to… Continue Reading »

When does the affirmative defense of ‘safely off the roadway’ apply? Well, it doesn’t apply to the crime of driving under the influence (RCW 46.61.502), which surprises some people. It only applies to being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence (RCW 46.61.504). According to WPIC 92.15, ‘safely off the roadway’… Continue Reading »

Bill 5352, moved out of the senate it is a bill that, if passed into law, would give police more discretion on when they can chase after suspects. Members of many law enforcement agencies have been outspoken in favor of updating the law, arguing that current restrictions give alleged criminals confidence to flee, which, in… Continue Reading »

As many may now know, Washington State Senators have proposed a bill to lower the state’s legal blood alcohol limit for drivers. Currently it is .08%. They propose lowering the legal limit to .05%. They also have voiced concern over the yearlong backlog of blood tests at the state’s toxicology lab. This is so, because… Continue Reading »