Category Archives for DUI Attorney

DUIs and Summer

With summer on the way, Washington state will be taking steps to make the roads safer by taking a harsher stance against people who are suspected of DUI.

According to statistics, the summer months see a drastic increase in overall alcohol related accidents throughout the U.S., with the period that occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day being called the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.

As a result, law enforcement officers will be increasing their DUI enforcement efforts to try and keep impaired drivers off the road.

Potential Penalties for DUI Charges in Washington State

If you are facing DUI charges, then knowing the possible penalties can be beneficial. In Washington State they are as follows:

1st Offense

If you have a BAC that is under .15 percent or no test results, the minimum amount of jail time you will face is 24 hours consecutively or 15 days EMH, with 364 days being the maximum penalty allowed. You will face fines and fees ranging from $823 to $5,000 and a 90-day license suspension. You will also have to undergo an alcohol and drug assessment, use an ignition interlock device for a year after your suspension, and face five years of probation.

If you have a BAC that is .15 percent or higher or refuse the test, the consequences are also higher. Your jail time will be raised to 48 hours consecutively or 30 days EMH as a minimum and fines can range from $1,015 to $5,000. Also, you will face a license suspension of one to two years. Everything else is the same as above.

2nd Offense

If you have a BAC that is under .15 percent or no test results, the minimum amount of jail time you will face is 30 days consecutively, with 364 days being the maximum penalty allowed. You will receive a penalty of 60 days electronic home monitoring and face fines and fees ranging from $1,015 to $5,000 along with a two-year license suspension. You will also have to undergo an alcohol and drug assessment, use an ignition interlock device for five years if previously restricted, and face five years of probation.

If you have a BAC that is .15 percent or higher or refuse the test, the consequences are also higher. Your jail time will be raised to 45 days consecutively as a minimum and EHM of 90 days. The fines can range from $1,405 to $5,000 and you will face a license suspension of 900 days to three years. Everything else is the same as above.

3rd Offense or More

If you have a BAC that is under .15 percent or no test results, the minimum amount of jail time you will face is 90 days consecutively, with 364 days being the maximum penalty allowed. You will receive a penalty of 120 days electronic home monitoring and face fines and fees ranging from $1,805 to $5,000 along with a three-year license suspension. You will also have to undergo an alcohol and drug assessment, use an ignition interlock device for 10 years if previously restricted, and face five years of probation.

If you have a BAC that is .15 percent or higher or refuse the test, the consequences are also higher. Your jail time will be raised to 120 days consecutively as a minimum and EHM of 150 days. The fines can range from $2,605 to $5,000 and you will face a license suspension of four years. Everything else is the same as above.

What are the BAC Limits in Washington State?

To ensure you don’t drive impaired and put yourself and others in jeopardy and put yourself at risk of being charged with a DUI, knowing the BAC limits is a must. These limits are as follows:

  • For those who are under the age of 21, their BAC can’t be higher than .02 percent
  • For those who are 21 years of age or older, any BAC over .08 percent is grounds for a DUI
  • For commercial drivers, those who have a BAC over .04 percent are considered impaired and can be charged with a DUI.

If you have been stopped or are stopped in the summer months due to a DUI charge, then you need quality legal representation. The team at the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter can help.

What NOT to Do During a DUI Stop

A DUI stop is something that can be extremely stressful. This is true regardless of if you are intoxicated, or not.

While you can’t undo the fact you have been drinking (if you are, in fact, intoxicated) there are a few things you can avoid doing to ensure you don’t make a bad situation, worse.

Use the information here to help avoid complicating a DUI stop.

Don’t Refuse the Breathalyzer Test

While you may think it is a good idea to try your luck and go for a Field Sobriety Test, and refuse the Breathalyzer test, this isn’t always the best course of action. There are laws in every state that require you to have your license suspended if you refuse the breathalyzer – even if you haven’t been drinking.

Don’t Try to Antagonize the Police Officer

Did you know that even if you are just a passenger in the vehicle with someone who has been pulled over for DUI that you can be arrested? This may happen if you don’t comply with the officer’s instructions during the stop.

Don’t Have a Child in the Vehicle

In addition to looking like a total drunken idiot in front of your kids, if you have your children in the car when you are stopped for DUI, it can lead to an additional charge of child endangerment. This one stupid move may even put you at risk to lose your kids – don’t chance it.

Don’t Divulge Information about Your Prescriptions or Your Marijuana ID Card

If you are driving under the influence of marijuana, regardless of if it is for medical purposes, you may also get a DUI. This is true even for states where medical marijuana is considered legal. As a result, don’t flaunt your medical marijuana ID card.

Similar to marijuana that is legally prescribed, there are certain prescription medications that can leave you with a DUI charge, as well. As a result, don’t tell the officer if you are on prescriptions. However, you also don’t need to lie if the officer asks about what you take – as you may face charges for this if they find out you lied.

If you want to protect your rights when pulled over for DUI, then make sure to avoid the things listed here. This will help ensure you don’t make a bad situation worse than it has to be.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in WA

According to the DUI statute in Washington, drivers are prohibited to getting behind the wheel while under the influence of any drug or intoxicating liquor. Even though alcohol related DUIs are the most common types of charges seen, there are many people who are arrested and then charged with driving while under the influence of prescription medications, over the counter medications, methamphetamine, cocaine and even marijuana, after it was used along with alcohol.

According to RCW 46.61.502 it is illegal for a person to be in control of a vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug alone, or in combination with alcohol consumption. Even though marijuana DUIs aren’t as common as alcohol related ones, they need to be taken just as seriously. If a person is facing this charge, they should contact a defense attorney right away for assistance.

Determining if a Driver is Under the Influence of Marijuana
Anyone suspected of driving while under the influence of marijuana, or any drug for that matter, is going to be investigated differently than someone suspected of driving with a blood alcohol content that is over 0.8 percent.

Initially, an officer with additional training in drug recognition, who is called a DRE – drug recognition expert – is likely to be called to the scene. After this officer makes a decision regarding drug use and the driver, and it is determined they are under the influence, they will be arrested, and a blood draw will be done. If a person refuses to submit to the blood draw, then the same consequences of refusing a breath test will occur. The main effects of this refusal include administrative license suspension and the refusal being used as proof of guilt if the case goes to trial.

Hiring an Attorney
Being caught driving under the influence of marijuana or another drug is just as serious as being caught driving under the influence of alcohol. The consequences are just as real, and the penalties can be quite severe. As a result, the best thing a person accused for this crime to do is to hire a criminal defense attorney for assistance right away.

For those who are in a situation where they need legal services for a charge of driving while under the influence of marijuana, they can contact the staff at the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter.

Defense Strategies Your DUI Attorney May Use and How You Can Help

DUI defense attorneys often use a variety of defense strategies to help you fight an accusation of driving under the influence of alcohol. The actual defense your attorney uses depends on the specifics of your particular case and how police officers handled the situation, but there are several common strategies that DUI attorneys like to use.Continue reading